While We Were Holding It Together
Ng Yi-Sheng

While We Were Holding It Together kicks off on a simple premise, but rolls with it to the max: what can you do with five actors, fixed in a tableau vivant for 66 minutes? Each performer projects possibilities onto the audience, intoning sentences beginning, “I imagine…”, suggesting mutually contradictory interpretations of their abstract/figurative pose. Part of the joy of this show is pure Roman holiday spectacle: watching the sheer physical discomfort and pain of the actors’ bodies as they hold the poses for so long. But most importantly, one’s intrigued at how the piece pokes subtly at our imagination and our understanding of performance: how do we derive meaning from watching other human bodies? How dare we even guess at knowing another person’s interiority, when so much of our comprehension of the world is processed through imposition and digestion of set ideas? I’m also deeply impressed at how a sense of motion is retained even amidst the stillness: choreographically moving eyes, trembling hands, sound cues, light cues, rhythms of speech, even blackouts and soft tech wizardry enabling bodies and voices to get switched. Oh, and did I forget to mention? – it’s also funny as hell.

published at www.inkpot.com/theatre