Reported by : Azrin NAZIR
Edited by : Victor Lee
When I signed up to be the Head of Set Building for Hallplay 2012, I already had a rough idea of what to expect. I was a member of the set building team for Hallplay 2011 under the legendary Michael Warren Lim. To build a set that could produce a believable environment where they could immerse themselves into the world of the Baker family. That was my dream. It wasn’t just me though — the entire steering committee though working on many different things, had the common goal of reaching the high standards set by our predecessors.
To me, ‘Come Blow Your Horn’ is a story about growing up. The irresponsible and self absorbed Alan Baker who cannot come to terms with the realities of growing up and his own feelings. The young and naïve Buddy Baker, who is beginning to take the first steps away from his sheltered upbringing. Put these two contrasting personalities with their parents, whom most of us can relate to. Mr Baker, the strict and despotic father who only wants the best for his sons. Mrs Baker, the typical dramatic and worrisome mother who loves her children dearly.
Alan and Buddy are at the crossroads of their lives. Alan is torn between a promiscuous lifestyle, courting girls like Peggy (the stereotypical blonde/bimbo) and the as of yet unrealized love of his life, Connie (sweet, beautiful and family oriented girl). Buddy, who just ran away from home to stay with Alan, is torn between living life to the fullest and the disappointment of not meeting the expectations of his parents. Coupled with problems with the family’s wax fruit business, both Alan and Buddy are disowned by their father. To make matters worse, Alan messes things up with Connie because of his reluctance to commit to a serious relationship.
3 weeks later and we see an almost incredible transformation. Alan with his new found sense of responsibility tries to set things right, finding new business deals for the business. Baker with his newfound freedom, blossoms into a flirtatious man very much like Alan 3 weeks ago. Not only did the brothers’ personalities clash, things worsened when their own mother runs away from home to live with Alan and Buddy after she could not tolerate her husband’s passive-aggressiveness at home. With Mr Baker arriving on the scene further chaos ensued. Connie’s arrival sparks a sudden moment of clarity in Alan as he finally realizes what he had always subconsciously yearned for. He proposes to Connie and finally gets his father him not as an irresponsible bum but as a dependable son. They reconcilled and Mr Baker even allows Buddy to carry on with his current lifestyle, seemingly to understand that everyone goes through that rebellious phase before they can finally grow up.
I have come to love not just the main characters, but also every single member of Hallplay 2012. The level of commitment was absolutely amazing. Rehearsals were always held almost full attendance, regardless of the date. Personally, I was impressed with the number of people who turned out for the rehearsal on New Year’s Eve.
Preparation work started days after the CCA fair in Semester 1 after all the members were split into their different sub committees. The sacrifices made by the all the committed members paved the way for a successful production. From the cast practicing for hours every day to memorize their lines to the marketing team arranging for sponsors when exams were around the corner, to the ticketing department for taking on the nightmarish task of keeping records for tickets sold, or the publicity team who worked tirelessly to make sure that the production was made known not just to KEVIIANs but to the rest of the school.
Behind the cast’s stellar performance was the director Annie, who was constantly making improvements so that the audience will get the best possible show. I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch of people to be in charge of. As Head of the set building team, I have to be a little biased right now and thank set décor head Vincent and his team for being so instrumental in bringing the set to life. Of course how could I forget my own team of builders for sticking with me all the way!
In all honesty, Hallplay 2012 was one of the most defining moments of my hall life this academic year. Being part of the steering committee has allowed me to witness the bigger picture and appreciate the finer details that go behind a production of such scale. It has allowed me to make new friends and create memories that I will cherish despite the many hours spent during my holidays.
Now that its all over, I feel slightly empty inside.