What you see is what you get. Is that always the case though? When it comes to facts versus fiction, how do you distill what is the truth and what isn’t? And are non-truths always lies then? The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell and Gordon Farrell is being staged by the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) in an apt time where manipulation of media is commonplace and information can be withheld by the powerful.
Staged at KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT, the atmosphere is intimate and works nicely with the nature of the show. The walls indeed have ears as the audience is privy to whatever takes place in the editor’s office of a prominent but sinking New York magazine. So when a fresh Harvard graduate, eager and diligent, comes onboard as a fact checker for an essay that might save the magazine from collapse, what could possibly go wrong right?
This production is directed by Daniel Slater, allowing the disturbing urgency of a discussion of suicide, emotions and poetic truths to take place with comedy, lightness and plenty of sarcasm. Relatively fast paced and never missing a beat, his direction seems almost like a game of chess—take your eyes off the board and you might miss a subtle cue that may change your entire impression of the story.
Bringing his direction to fruition, the acting by the cast is well done with stand out performances by Jamil Schulze as Harvard graduate Jim Fingal and Ghafir Akbar as the talented writer John D’Agata that Fingal butt heads with. The embodiment of their characters are a joy to watch, together with their chemistry to work off each other’s rhythm and comedic timing. They invite us in with their performance through fervour and conviction, each line delivered with greater intensity than the last and their physical presence on stage grounded and consistent.
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With wordplay, comedy and food for thought, what more could one ask for in a night out to the theatre? Whoever said that accountability or the questioning of truth can never go together with lighthearted humour has obviously never seen this play, because this is the perfect blend of both worlds: critical thinking and the joy of humour.
And in light of the misery 2020 has kicked started with, I sure as hell needed all the laughs I can get with another dose of reality check.
Note: Post-show Talks will be available on two show dates. For more details, please read on.
Monday, 2nd March – Women in the Media
The New York magazine featured in this play is run by a woman of strength and character. This post-show talk will feature a panel consisting of Janice Koh (actress), Eunice Olsen (WomenTalk), Irene Jay Liu (Google News Lab) and moderated by Andrea Abbate (LinkedIn).
Thursday, 12th March – Youth and Suicide in Singapore
The essay featured in this play is about a 16-years old who jumped to end his life. With such a theme, this post-show talk will feature the raising of awareness about the increase in youth suicides in Singapore by the Samaritans of Singapore.
The Lifespan of a Fact
Date: 25th February to 14th March 2020
Venue: KC Arts Centre – Home of SRT
Time: Monday – Saturday, 8pm / Sunday, 4pm
Admission: From $35 (Get your tickets here.)