Singapore is under attack by a deadly virus that turns the infected into bloodthirsty vampires and we are the last survivors! We must escape to OldSchool, the last stronghold where survivors gather and hopefully, we will make it out of this pandemic alive!
And that’s the story premise of the most experiential piece of theatre at this year’s Singapore Arts Festival. Happening at OldSchool, They Only Come at Night : Pandemic is a play where the audience gets to play. What does that mean? Quite simply, the audience is a part of this theatrical production that unfolds like a larger-than-life diorama.
I won’t divulge the story, but here’s an account of how I survived…
Performed as a piece of interactive theatre where the audience were also props and actors, I thought the concept was creatively novel and interesting. But anyone seeking to be really spooked would be disappointed, as was I.
Personally, I felt the audience participation was merely a means of distracting the audience from a script we’ve seen so many times at the movies and the play’s cliche characterisations. The actors did a good job, just that the evening started out promising but the creature feature was too safe to raise any heart rates. They vampires was what we came for after all.
And the lenghty dialogues lost out to the sticky heat of an open-air performance space and didn’t quite reach a level of engagement where I felt for what went on, the five characters, or the theme of courage.
But for the unusual way that a play can be presented and experienced, I think Pandemic had stabbed a stick right at the heart of creativity.
They Only Come at Night : Pandemic runs from 22 – 27 May 2012.
Ticket Price : S$36.00 from SISTIC.