Without Reason was staged 2 Aug to 4 Aug this year and I was involved doing surtitles so I had a chance to be part of the production. The actors were all unbelievably fun and the show ran well.
Without Reason was part of M1 Peer Pleasure, a youth theatre festival. The story surrounds the main characters Wei Yi and Hazmy. Wei Yi, played by Cheryl Tan, is a Chinese girl from a traditional Chinese family and Hazmy, played by Hafidz Abdul Rahman, is a Malay boy from a traditional Malay family. They fall in love and end up heartbroken when things don’t end well. I mean, that’s really scratching the surface.
Digging deeper, Sim Yan Ying’s play talks about the issues arising from interacial marriages, from misconceptions of the other race, of racism, ignorance and growing up in Singapore. These issues were sensitively dealt with but also bravely, I would say. Ignorance of the other’s religious practices and culture became starkly funny and awkward for the audience, as they recognise the potential disasters that could happen here if the characters on stage were not teenagers/acting. Wei Yi saying things like “You know, I actually love Malays, and their culture, and their architectures” to a total stranger definitely made the audience facepalm themselves so many times and I thought it was precisely Yan Ying’s craft in making this lighthearted yet serious that made this piece so wonderful for conversation and discussion.
Rooted in an easy to follow story, in contrast to perhaps bigger theatre companies who would choose to tackle this issue with a larger outlook, Yan Ying’s version was good for their targeted audience, who are students, such that they could just dwell on one issue and think of it. Whether it succeeded in making students talk about it is, however, questionable, considering that the show had an Advisory 16 rating at the end that affected the turn up rate for schools.
Anyhows, I had fun with this team of talented actors, actresses, director and production team. They were really nice and sweet. It would be quite interesting to see it being restaged in the future (with an alternate ending maybe?).