If there was one scene that froze in my head from the play "Full Gallop", which recently had its Manila run at the RCBC Auditorium in Makati, it was this: Cherie Gil as Diana Vreeland, declaring in a haughty flourish--"I adore artifice".
Perhaps it echoed to the writer in me, the way I would fantasize writing stories, packaging accounts according to my perspective and, along the way, introducing my own biases and concepts and knowledge (despite how limited they may be, and albeit subconsciously.)
This actually started off as an attempt to review the play, and while I am not the most qualified critic out there, I thought I could say a thing or two about the one-man show (for starters, Cherie is amazing--my theater days have taught me how difficult it is to sustain one's energy throughout the duration of the play, and we were a huge cast at that! Seeing Cherie draw the audience so magically to her for the one-and-a-half hours she had to perform for "Full Gallop" definitely deserved praise--considering, most especially, how acting in front of the camera is worlds apart from acting on stage.)
However, I ended up being fascinated by the statement, the way how this woman Cherie played so magnificently was so engrossed with the idea of appearances, of beauty, of creating interesting stories to tell her audience, despite how, as one continued watching her character unfold, it became apparent how everything was like that: an artifice. Showmanship. An act that one kept up.
One could take that as a negative thing; however, I saw it as an affirmation of what makes us human. What separates us from other animals is our capacity to imagine, to build things larger than us, to aggrandize and exaggerate and fantasize and idealize. And being in the business of communications, I know very well how a good story is important.
So what I started off as an entry about a play I watched one Friday evening turned out to be this:
I expected a lot from "Rak of Aegis", a play recently held at the PETA Center in Quezon City. Rave reviews aside, a friend (Hi Phi!) was playing one of the characters (although I didn't get to see him during the showdate we chose) and I liked the last musical I saw there ("Sa Wakas", which featured Sugarfree's songs) which set the bar really high for this play.
I wasn't disappointed. Well, not wholly. I liked the comedic timing, and it posed an interesting question on the Filipinos' proclivity/desire to do something good, but without aiming for change that will have lasting effects. I think that it was presented without shoving the whole idea down your throat, leaving much to mull over.
HELLO, MY NAME IS EVAN TAN.
I'm a writer and communications professional based in Manila, Philippines. Outside of my regular job, I like to travel, work out, volunteer, watch movies and plays, go to art galleries/ fairs and museums, read books, and eat vegetarian food.
More about me here.