Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Last BIG Date before the BIG DATE - Shakespeare in the Park: SRT's Romeo and Juliet

     It has been quite some time since the wifey and I went on a "proper" date. As her due date was nearing, we decided to take the opportunity to attend this year's Shakespeare in the Park. We had our first experience many years ago and at that time we wondered how the people in the front row got to enjoy their plush seats and VIP treatment. This time, we found out the answer; all thanks to Audi.
     Those who have attended past performances would be familiar with the long snaking queue that winds itself round Fort Canning Park, prior to the opening of the entrance. This time we were fortunate to be able to join the queue for Audi Prestige members, which took us right to the entrance. The wifey was very impressed with the Audi service staff, when they offered her a chair, seeing that she was pregnant. Not wanting to be stomped for being too "atas" she declined. It wasn't long before we were allowed through the entrance. First stop, the Audi pavilion.
Audi Pavilion

     We plonked ourselves in front of the huge air-conditioners and proceeded to help ourselves to the canapes and drinks. Wine, Champagne, soft drinks, free-flow throughout the night. When we had our fill, we were ushered to our seats - those same plush backings on carpeted "mats" that we so envied many years ago. It wasn't long before our picnic basket arrived.
Sandwiches  (smoke salmon and turkey and brie) and brownies from ABC, a bottle of wine,
wine glasses, Garrett popcorn, bottles of water, quill and "parchment" for our feedback etc
     I was just commenting to the wifey that we forgot to bring along mosquito repellent. Lo and behold, we found anti-insect patches in the basket. There was also wet napkins and even mini-electric fans that could be operated by plugging into our handphones. Audi really thought of everything.
Mightily impressed with the glass and bottle
holders that can be inserted into the grass.
Mobilephone operated fan

     Before long, the sky turned dark and the lights came on. It was time for the performance. I must admit that SRT did an excellent job with their interpretation of Romeo and Juliet. The set and movement of the actors were also very well thought out. It was an obvious departure from Leonardo DeCaprio's 1996 movie version as well as the 1968 version which I saw in Junior College (No! I wasn't in JC in 1968. I wasn't even born then!). DeCaprio was a suave, passionate Romeo. SRT's Romeo was a childish brat (in my opinion) that made me want to slap him in the head. Contrary to what most people think, Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is NOT the ultimate love story. How can it be true love when one "falls" in love, gets married, and swears to be together, all in one day; and having just been moping around because of another unrequited relationship the day before (Romeo for Rosalind)? Nevertheless, it was an excellent production. Kudos to SRT. And thanks to Audi for making it all the more enjoyable.
     Having said that, the most important factor in making the event as enjoyable as it was, was of course, the company. I probably won't be attending this play if not for the wifey. She said that this was Shiloh's first experience with Shakespeare. I prefer to think of it as the Big Date before Shiloh's Big Date.

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