Reviewer: Gabriel Lim
Performance: 17 October 2015, 3pm
If friendship is peanuts, it has to be in limitless supply. And when you crack each peanut, you will always find peanuts of different sizes, and sometimes, nothing. It is easy to crack them, but the results are unpredictable.
As cheesy as this sound, Our Company successfully pulls off the production Jonathan, David & Me as an honest, nostalgic and poignant piece. It questions the volatility of friendship and leaves me slightly envious of the trials of the three friends, Jonathan (Vignesh Singh), David (Jamie Shawn Tan) & Mervyn (KS Yeo).
Two stories run parallel during the show – Jonathan and Mervyn confronting David for his illicit affair with a 19-year-old; and the story of Gilgamesh & Enkidu. The Goddess Aruru created Enkidu to get rid of Gilgamesh for being arrogant. The plot takes on a humorous tone, battling out in a slow-motion Kungfu showdown. They end up best friends, and go about slaying monsters. In the process, they offend the gods, and a curse befalls onto Enkidu. While coping with the loss of his best friend, Gilgamesh goes on a journey to find immortality, only to have those plans foiled.
This ancient story analogises the adventures of the three friends. As Mervyn narrates their friendship, tracing it from teenage life to adulthood, I find myself reflecting on what is yet to come in my life. What kind of friendship should I actively pursue?
Lighting & set designer Manuel Garrido creates an irregularly-shaped quadrilateral space, surrounded by peanuts, and the actors cleverly work within the space with minimal props. Altogether, director & playwright Luke Kwek stitches all the elements of this devised work into a personal yet relatable piece.
Jonathan, David & Me is not for every audience member. It can come across cliché, glorifying the idealistic notion of friendships. This is Our Company’s third production since 2013. I am fairly pleased with it and I look forward to new works from them.
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ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
JONATHAN, DAVID & ME by Our Company
14 – 18 October 2015
Drama Centre Black Box
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Gabriel Lim awaits eagerly to start his undergraduate term in Yale-NUS liberal arts education this year, having just completed his term in National Service.