Tuesday, May 13

"An Inspector Calls"

A school play in which I was involved in as Sound Designer...

Here's a brief write-up about it: Singapore Polytechnic officially launched its brand new School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) with 2 evenings of drama and charity on 22 & 23 April 2008 at the Jubilee Hall (Raffles Hotel). CASS is the first in Asia to offer applied drama as a course of study. It introduced the full-time Applied Drama and Psychology (DADP) diploma course this year. The school also offers the Media and Communication (DMC) full-time diploma course. To celebrate the launch of the new school, a group of Drama Appreciation students took to the stage with literary master J B Priestley's suicide mystery "An Inspector Calls". The story revolves around the Rai family and the unfolding revelations following a police inspector's incessant interrogation into a suicide case. Almost 400 guests turned up at Jubilee Hall to take in the students' first public appearance, including President S R Nathan as the Guest-of-Honour. It was said that local celebrities Dick Lee and Kit Chan were present at the event too, though I didn't see them myself.

Time for my reflections... overall, I've really enjoyed working on the sound design and theme song (along with my classmate Lydia Ang) for the play. Over the past two months, having the company of the "An Inspector Calls" (AIC) cast and crew along with my wonderful lecturers (Director) Simone Khoo and (Producer) Wendy Ng made progress on the sound design a lighter burden to carry. Though the sound design at many points was tedious, with many single sound cues being rejected numerous times, the friendship and patience of those mentioned above encouraged and spurred me on to achieve the most suitable and creative sounds I could come up with. A major problem was the coordinated synchronization of the sound cues with the live action - either the sound cues had to follow the timing of the actors or vice versa. A compromise was eventually reached as I took note of the timings of more-or-less constant, stable scenes (with regards to timing) and the actors followed the sound cues of the rest. The zesty humour of the cast in particular added spice to my otherwise dreary days spent mostly working on the sound design. Being the very first time I did sound design for theatre, I am very grateful to Simone and Wendy for their confidence in allowing me to handle the sound design (instead of hiring a professional one). The show itself was a definite success, with almost a full house on both nights and standing ovations. The Principal of Singapore Polytechnic kindly went around thanking the cast and crew personally for their hard work, and conveyed to me the President's comment that the sound cues were brilliantly spot-on and really enhanced the play. In a follow-up letter to the Principal, the President even compared the show to a "West End hit"! Indeed, fond memories of the times I spent on this play will stay - much of its dialogue is still stuck in my head until now (having been present at their rehearsals countless times)!

AIC photo album on Facebook | AIC Behind the Scenes video | AIC Speed Run (Part 1) video | AIC Speed Run (Part 2) video


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