By: Brenda Boh
A Singaporean in Paris – a musical by SingTheatre Productions, delves further into the Paris scene and reveals that Paris is more than just a place of romance, elegance and luxury. Being a sold-out musical when it was first staged in 2010, expectations were increased for its second staging directed by Hossan Leong. Surely enough, the revamped version of A Singaporean in Paris exceeded expectations and provided the audience with a different image of Paris – one of hope and friendship.
Going beyond the cliché associations, this musical adds a level of ‘realness’ to the Paris scene by touching on various prominent social issues that are present in our society today. Using tracks like “What Makes a Man” and “Sea, Sex and Sun”, controversial issues of homosexuality and sex are being brought up. The former track speaks of the emotions a homosexual strip-dancer has to undergo, while the latter speaks openly about sex on a beach in Paris.
With the use of monologues, Hossan Leong engages closely with the audience and this helps them to sink deeper into the context of the musical. Such usage of monologues gives the audience an illusion that they are part of the performance itself – the character is directly sharing his Paris experience with them. Being part of the whole stage set of a Paris cabaret, the band does not only play the tunes to all 21 songs of the musical, it also enhances the level of ‘live-ness’ to the performance. Being able to have a real time experience of the arts is definitely the most unique aspect of theatre performance, and this musical has enhanced this uniqueness of theatre without a doubt.
Accompanied by various fun dance choreographies and melodies, the story behind this musical is expressed fully through humour and great chemistry amongst the cast. By painting a different picture of the city of love, it is truly a refreshing and eye-opening theatre experience!