Writer: Reuben Lim
Editor: Janice Fan
Once upon a time, there was a happily ever after. But not in the traditional sense.
Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty conspire to get the Fairy God Mother to magically vanish their gambling debts. Prince Charming kills himself after his dream of being a chef is dashed. The Three Little Pigs avenge their mother’s death by murdering the Wolf in the same way. Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio and Goldilocks seek therapy from the Wizard of Oz. Snow White’s cousin, Jill Black, accidentally kills Prince Charming with an apple. Fabletown is in a recession and can only employ a sole Prince Charming for all fairy tales.
Happily? Far from it.
That was a brief overview of the 6 plays that made up the third iteration of Dramafest, and this year’s Dramafest theme was ‘Twisted Fairytales’, featuring the combined efforts of all the halls of residence in NUS at the UCC Theatre on the 31st of March 2009. KE VII’s English Literary and Drama (ELnD) was involved as well; managing the lights, sounds and stage of all 6 plays. This meant all technical aspects of lighting and sounds, sourcing for props from the different halls and providing the stage crew.
We also contributed a script for the final play of the day, Charming. Script writer was Leon Choo, a year 4 student who also Acted and Directed the same play (winning the SAD award, in his own words). KE VII shone as the only hall involved in all aspects of the production, from the technical side to directing and acting, from stage and logistics to welfare.
Months of planning and hard work paid off as the show was a major success, succeeding to get a full house with audience from the various halls and faculties. Rave reviews followed the descent of the curtain, marking the end of an explosive Dramafest.
But it wasn’t always as rosy as it turned out to be. Dramafest was plagued by many problems from the word go. We couldn’t secure a venue for it up till early this year, and UCC gave us the Dance Studio that was more suited to, well, dance. And there was also difficulty in securing actors for each play, and a search for willing actors in KE VII produced nothing, causing Leon as director to take up a role in his own play.
Funding was very much constrained, as we were downsized from a larger budget but still expected to put up a much better show. There were only 4 people as stage crew due to some people pulling out at the last minute. Sounds and lights had less than 2 days to master their cues, and the stage manager had to put up with many alterations to his cue sheet.
In spite of the adversity faced, our KEVIIans rose to the occasion and proved that we could do it. Yannick, Alvin, Azura, McVin and Eddie endured sleepless nights to ensure that lights and sounds on that day were excellent. Kelvin, Wendy, Kenny and Dinaesh worked swiftly and tirelessly behind scenes, ascertaining that all props were in place right before the curtains were raised. And not forgetting the people who sourced for the props and readied the actors and props for each scene, Akhilesh and Christina, the ASMs for the night.
The final product: A grand and astounding production!