Oh, where do I start? A night of drama, filled with light-hearted comedy, thrills, a lot of murder, a little romance, topped off with a heavy-hitting play questioning where the value in life lies. Thursday’s Night of Drama left me shook in all the right ways, and if you missed it, or liked it so much you just had to read about it, let me tell you about what went down.
An interesting adaptation of the party game Mafia into a thriller with a whole lot of death and a body count nearly totalling that of the entire cast.
Waking up dazed and confused in the middle of the classroom are a handful of the classic high school archetypes: the dysfunctional couple, the princess, the jock, the loner and the “furry” (spoiler alert, she’s also a homicidal game master) among others. They must physically play the game in real life, or be killed and although they take it to be an inconsequential game at the start, they soon come to realise the very real implications of being killed in-game, those being actual death. Turns are taken and characters are accused, with a whole hell of a lot of betrayals and dying throughout the scenes
A Treat for You
Dinner at your slightly deranged teacher’s house where the menu consists of doughnuts and turkey. What could go wrong? A lot, apparently. And no, it wasn’t a 2.0 of last year’s Year End Production, contrary to what the cries from the audience may have suggested on the night.
A Treat For You starts off with a teacher seating his disgruntled students down for dinner, the teacher’s pet is more than delighted, but the rest of the students acquiesce with varying amounts of grumbling and groaning. The teacher then presents them with the appetiser, a box of doughnuts, with a twist: one of the doughnuts has been loaded with wasabi and whoever eats it is the loser. The unfortunate student on the receiving end of the wasabi doughnut unconvincingly attempts to disguise the fact he’s lost the game before getting called out on it and then dying on the floor. Some men just can’t handle their arsenic.
A fairly okay night, until they realised someone was dying from a poisoned doughnut.
This throws everyone else into a panicked frenzy of oh god we’re all going to die, just in time for the teacher to return, with another game. The game of musical chairs is run with a homicidal twist, and the loser of the game is subsequently shot. More chaos and gun-firing ensues, with the last student standing being the teacher’s pet; he hands her the knife and requests for her to dissect her fellow classmate, and just as she appears to move to make the first cut, she turns to stab him instead. An unexpected turn of events, though a pleasantly surprising one at that, what with the quiet unassuming nerd turning on her supposedly beloved teacher.
“C*cksuckers, how are you?”
I loved this damn play from start to finish and couldn’t stop cracking up at the dumbest jokes. So the play goes something like this: it’s your classic smart cop, dumb cop duo but neither of the cops are particularly bright to begin with. They’ve been working on a drug-bust case for years with no leads, and here’s why: one of the cops is a crackhead, and with every undercover infiltration into a mafia’s den, he snorts it right up.
The other cop (let’s call him soft boi) tags along, shaky and uncertain but fares better at blending in than the cop I’ll nickname Crackhead Man. One night, the deputy decides he’s had enough of their sh*t and orders them to bring in at least 3 arrests by midnight, or they’ll be off the case and so, off they go on a wild goose chase. The first arrest is fairly easy, with them planting the cocaine acquired earlier on an innocent bystander lady and tackling her with a questionable act of police brutality, and the next arrest goes similarly with a Korean guy dressed in traffic-cone orange who they accuse of (). By the time they find the last guy, it’s nearly midnight and a comical cartoon-music-slo-mo scene ensues, with futile results. Crackhead and soft boi cop trudge back to the station in the hopes that the deputy is gone by then. No dice. He’s there waiting for them, and aware they’ve screwed it up. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, soft boi exposes Crackhead for his cocaine-loving ways and the third arrest of the night is made. With that, the deputy confiscates the cocaine… and proceeds to snort it up and go wild with the remaining cop. What a night.
Alright, you might be thinking ‘eh, why would you need to write about intermission?’, but let me just say a big kudos to MPAC for being super thoughtful of all those Muslim peeps out there who are currently fasting, because they made sure to hand out food and drinks between the second and third play, before intermission just so that when they could break fast (some time during High Cops) it would be easy for them to do so. Hella thoughtful and props to y’all for being proactive about the Ramadan situation.
Things You Do for Love
A heartwarming musical, composed entirely by the group, about a diner romance. But all is not what it seems when a couple of repair guys drop by a diner and don’t end up with the waitresses.
Upon entering, one of the waitresses is lovestruck and swoons over them while the other girl frankly couldn’t care less. It seems that everyone’s in love, judging from the numerous originally composed songs that feature in the play (I was hella impressed, they were so good). The manager of the diner swiftly brings the girls back down to earth with a musical number on why you don’t need a guy to be happy. Later on, one of the repair guys calls a waitress out to talk once he’s done, and she’s immediately disinterested; he tries to explain what he’s trying to say but before he can, his repair guy friend walks to see them talking. And that’s where the twist happens; the first repair guy confesses his love for the other and finds that his feelings are indeed reciprocated. They walk off hand-in-hand to leave the waitress somewhat shellshocked. It’s sweet, and a refreshing twist on a beaten-to-death diner trope.
Based off of the Girls Generation song Lion Heart, the play follows a storyline similar to that of the song.
Four girls gather at a sleepover to discuss their romantic encounters with a dream guy; their dates each consisting of a guy, wonderful beyond belief, going out with them but leaving right before they kiss. Ranging from sweet cooking classes to a downright raunchy description of an intense gym workout, the dates are as varied as they come. However, later on when they order pizza, they come to realise their dream guy has been the same person the whole time. A little predictable because it was based on a song, but hella original for adapting a song into a play. Also, nice touch with the ‘dream guy’, one of the members of the props team, wearing a lion mask.
The White Room
And so, the night ends with the committee play written by Brian, MPAC’s ginger Head of Drama.
A man with everything to lose by dying and a woman with nothing left to gain from life wind up in purgatory and have to convince each other to live, or die, for the sake of the other in a strange game proposed by God. There are two options, he stabs her and they both die or the opposite happens, and they both wake up again. Reluctant to return to a miserable life, the woman begs him to not let her go back. They reach a stalemate and sit on opposite ends of the stage, tired of trying to convince the other. God eventually decides to make the decision for them, and they both wake up in hospital rooms. They’re alive. The man is overjoyed, and the woman comes to find out that although It touches on the heavy theme of suicide in a way that avoids glorifying the issue, and at the same time does not condemn those who have. The previously rowdy and interactive Monashian audience was brought to silence by this play and some would say that’s the most impressive part about it.
PHOTO CREDITS: PRITHA KHANDHAR
That’s all I’ve got to say about this semester’s Night of Drama! Hope y’all enjoyed the reviews, and if you were one of the unlucky few who missed out on this event, I hope to see you guys at the next one.