REVIEW: Melancholy permeates every spoken line and every musical phrase in Theatre Ronin's Aquamarine《湖水藍》, a new a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
The Prickle (@ThePrickle) October 18, 2019
“I have never felt comfortable revealing myself,” frustrated non-writer Yat (Ling Man-lung) confesses to the audience in the final speech. But how reliable can he be as a narrator of his own life? We spend an hour and a half listening to the older Yat describe his life in painstaking detail, while he winces at his younger self (Poon Tai-ming), and tries to stop him making the mistakes he regrets. This double revelation suggests a figure pre-occupied with self-mythologising, as a coping mechanism for mounting self-hatred over his inability to actually write.
Louis Ho’s novel, Me and You and a Dog Named Boo, has been adapted for the stage by director Alex Tam, through a devised process in collaboration with guitarist and singer Jing Wong and an acting ensemble of five. Melancholy permeates every spoken line and every musical phrase.
Despite being the main character, Yat sees himself as a passive, worthless individual, to whom life merely happens. He has no discernable job, and spends his days flâneuring in second-hand bookshops and bumping into fascinating people. His remarkable education and obsession with reading – his father is, according to him, a hack writer who achieved middling success – now only serves to provide pithy opening quotes to new notebooks he never completes, something to which this new title makes reference. Enigmatic characters including his best friend Wing (Chiu Lo-yin) and lover (Wong Suet-ip) drop in and out of his life. Yat is just an observer.
The choice to adapt this for the stage rather than the screen is clear: the older narrator guiding his misguided younger self; the cross-gender casting; presenting Yat’s fantasy novel-in-progress as cheesy video game dialogue; these highly theatrical devices help to cast further light on this introspective story. Recommended for all navel-gazers.
Booking online 17 – 21 October 2019.