>drumming dreams by in source theatre
>reviewed by sherrie lee
29 nov 2001
In Source Theatre's inaugural production was a bumpy excursion through philosophical texts on dreams. Running on drum beats and uninspiring footwork, DRUMMING DREAMS swung between child's play and an obscure intensity. While it was mostly raw and incoherent, it was nonetheless a worthy first attempt at experimenting with texts, music and physical theatre.
A mirror ball hung from the ceiling, reflecting light beamed from the ground. Low Yuen Wei, director and lead drummer (of a large Chinese drum), sat in a corner, draped in white and overcome with fervour in her chanting-singing of dialect songs. The meditative mood was interrupted by two characters, Chan Yi Wen in a red dress and Melissa Wong in a red and black frock, prancing around, taking turns to articulate (sometimes in awkward accents) the various texts on dream. Then hops in a nymph-like character, Alison Wong, echoing texts, giggling and playing on drums.
And so the
opening scene locked the characters in their place. Yuen Wei, sombre in
white, took on each new text with a grave intensity. On the other hand,
Yi Wen and Melissa had fun with the stories and philosophical propositions,
playing games with each other with Alison coming in to add to the frivolity.
>>'It made some headway in exploring the human psyche but without a strong direction, it was in the end, unsatisfying'
Text-wise, it was interesting to have Yuen Wei's dialect songs pitted against Western views on dreams, but alas, the dialect songs were not translated, and there was no clear direction of where the mix of texts was going.
phrases and throwing them back to the audience while running around in
circles with the occasional drumming became the main form of presentation,
excluding an incredulous rap about Zhuang Zhou and Kong Zi's different
types of dreams and other dream-speak with the mirror ball fulfilling
its original potential.
But In Source
Theatre's desire to use drumming, movement and sound to make their point
is a good start. It is after all their dream. Their hearts are alive.
Keep listening to what they have to say.