“Letting It Go”
Reviewer: Gan Soon Rui
Performance: 1 November 2014, 3pm
Almost a year since its release, Disney’s award-winning musical film about a cryokinetic queen, her sister (who has a sibling complex), and their magical talking snowman has finally hit the stage…
Not! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!)
As part of Pangdemonium’s final production to their 2014 “Misfits” season, Frozen is, without a doubt, the darkest and most ominous play out of the three productions. Unlike Fat Pig and The Rise & Fall of Little Voices earlier this year, there is little laughter to be found within Frozen.
Written by Bryony Lavery in 1998, Frozen was inspired by a series of true events involving the murder of a child, as it follows a series of events transpiring after the mysterious disappearance of a young girl, Rhonda. Spanning a few decades from the present, the play recounts the experiences of three characters, presented mostly through monologues:
- Ralph (Adrian Pang), the paedophilic serial killer.
- Nancy (Karen Tan), the grieving mother seeking closure.
- Agnetha (Janice Koh), the psychiatrist researching criminal minds.
As of the performance on 1st November, all of the tickets to the remaining shows have already sold out. It is however, not a result of mistaken identities.
Allow me to explain.
For a play that centres itself on not a few monologues, it is the actors’ performance and interpretation that makes or breaks the production. On this front, credit should be given to Pang and Tan, whose skilful rendition of their characters resulted in two noteworthy performances.
Pang, as Ralph, manages to bring a nuanced volatility to a psychologically disturbed man. Pang’s Ralph transitions from a good natured everyday man to charismatic child-predator, and to a whimpering man-child with ease and depth.
Tan, on the other hand, presents her complicated role with much gusto. Her character, Nancy, requires her to express emotions from the extreme ends of the spectrum. Beginning from the blissful mother of two, to the grieving parent undergoing the five stages of loss and grief (i.e. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance), Tan externalises these tumultuous emotions within the short span of two hours with much relish.
Aside from the philosophical discussions of the ideas of evil and the human condition, the main takeaway from the play perhaps could be the human’s ability to find within them, the power to forgive the ones who have wronged them. To quote a famous saying from Alexander Pope, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.”
In short, it’s all about been able to let it go…
Huh, what an ironic coincidence.
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ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
FROZEN by Pangdemonium! Productions
23 October – 9 November 2014
Esplanade Theatre Studio
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Gan Soon Rui considers himself a picky kind of theatre goer, opting for productions with decent reviews, but admits he is also a total sucker for musicals and comedies.