Nights Out: The Extraordinary V Conference

Firstly, one has got to admit it is difficult to put up a show, far more, a stand-up comedy, and furthermore, in the uptight roots of Singapore.

Let’s begin on a frank note. My friend, Q, whom I have not seen in some time, and I, are seeing something like this for the first time – and yes, it thrills the thought – virgins at this. It is funny how friends somewhat close can still be surprised at what we can still do together, and hopefully let’s keep a promise at doing more of these in the future. Even though I enjoyed it, I can at least have another source to go with (for such shows, gigs, events) in the case of fear of loneliness (see: Mystery Jets/ Emmy The Great gigs).

When we entered, the venue was already pretty packed – we had arrived slightly after the hour hand had reached the digit 8. The show had not begun – and the club was doing what a club does best, blast loud music to prepare the kickstart of the show. But it wasn’t long that we have to wait (this wasn’t a concert) – shortly after getting our clean drinks (I can drink but I see no point in it), the show began; the stage is set.

Touching on issues close to homeland’s hearts and international basis, and digging dirt on several public and celebrity personalities (inclusive of someone who was at the VIP seating last night), it was a good close-to-2-hours showcase, but definitely wished that it was longer. Both my friend and I agreed on the fact that the first part of the show was better than the later, maybe due to the feeling we got that it was longer and had got funnier bits at the start. A glance through the crowd revealed the happening night scenesters, including bitches on the scene and gays who know gays.

The stage has its limitation – at points, it felt like a high school production, with the normal 4-sided rectangle shaped stage as a boring show-and-tell. Microphone malfunctions did occurred, and there were parts where I (and friend) could not understand what was being said. And no surprise, being not big buffs on the local news, I found myself trying to figure out several of the subjects brought forward (for instance, Bella – was she someone in the headlines or just a stereotype to be used for?).

Still, there were thoroughly enjoyable moments. I think I got my best fit of laughter at the…

Yes, Guan Yin Ma portion (played by Irene Ang). Being a freshie at the show, I had no clue that this is a recurring character that has been appearing throughout these years of ‘V’. I love the fact that they incorporated Hokkien (which I can understand bits and pieces – somehow, in my early times, must have picked up listening somewhere, highly probably from relatives not so close with) and the subtitles bit was just plain genius. Bella is also a clever stereotype at a particular common scene in the nightlife, while the common bickering between two neighbouring countries deserves a worthy thumbs up. (Not to mention everything out in case it arises copyright issues and spoil the fun outta anyone who hasn’t but is planning to watch it)

To say a show is 100% perfect is outta the question; there were definitely grounds for improvement. Several issues were only given a brief mention, probably due to the tight timeline. I am pretty sure that the majority of crowd will be alright if the show is a bit longer, maybe by half-an-hour, and won’t mind forking out the money in relevance to that. Though, I know, it will be all the extra burden for the toughgoing actors.

All-in-all, it was a good night of fun and laughter; of poking fun at issues not commonly discussed, taboo topics out of the range of mainstream viewpoints, and to laugh at profit-gaining futuristic improvements made by the runners.

It brings out a lot of humane in the cast involved – from Irene to Chua Enlai, Brendon Fernandez and Shane Mardjuki (Yes, I Googled those), and brings up the celebrity status in these humans.

The Extraordinary V Conference runs from 4 – 13 September, 2009 at Singapore’s Zirca.
Tickets are available here.
For more information, view there.

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