I saw many reviews on it online. Took a super quick glance at some. Avoided most of them. I prefer watching a play with a fresh mind, without any prejudgment. I just feel that it is more enjoyable that way.
10 minutes into the show, I was skeptical. However, by the time we hit intermission, my initial impression of the play had totally changed. By the end, I was a satisfied playgoer.
Simply put, Hello Goodbye, presented by the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT), can be summarised in one word: simple.
But is simple a bad thing? Far from it.
Hello Goodbye, directed by Lisa Spirling, is a modest production, yet filled with countless impeccable moments. In fact, it is
very, very entertaining indeed. It is no wonder that it enjoyed a sell-out run at the Hampstead Theatre in London.
Striped off from the usual theatrical and over-the-top facet of most plays, Hello Goodbye is a romantic comedy about a girl named Juliet and a boy named Alex. This rom-com play basically narrates their story: how they met through sick twisted fate, fell in love, out of love and thereafter.
Some may even find it typical, but to me, there’s some powerful truth behind every cliché. The play is the epitome of irony: simple yet complex. It tackles obvious yet subtle matters of love. While Hello Goodbye does dabble with the stereotypical ups and downs of a love relationship, it goes further and scrutinizes circumstances behind those ups and downs. Circumstances that we usually avoid discussing. The play embodies the paradoxical nature of relationship between two loving individuals, struggling between their wants and responsibilities. All these are conveyed via a well-written script by Peter Souter which is simple, comedic and easy to follow. Yet, at the same time, it is witty and delicate.
I liked that the minimal stage setting helped to not distract you away from the conversations between the characters and kept you focused on the story attentively. The two main actors, Shane Mardjuki and Denise Tan, were no less than stellar. The chemistry between both of their characters is to die for. So much tension, yet so much love for one another. Shane Mardjuki is the “Joseph Gordon-Levitt” of Singapore, a charming and brilliant actor who always delivers. Yet, the star of the night, for me, was Denise Tan, who was able to pull off a character that is so unlike her. She did an outstanding job with Juliet!
Worth watching? Certainly.
Hello Goodbye is minimalism at its finest. Sometimes all you need is a simple, humble and uncomplicated rom-com play to indulge in, to have a good laugh and tickle your mind here and there. But be warned! The 90 minutess will pass by swiftly. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun. And with Hello Goodbye, I did.
Zakaria is an outgoing introvert who loves reading and strongly believes that the pen is mightier than the sword. From dancing to playing the clarinet to Acapella singing, he is indeed an artholic who feels that art is the window to your soul.