Should I Cease to be this Critical?
I have always believed in improving and bettering anything I do. It stems perhaps from some feeling of inadequacy as well as a need for perfection. I don’t think it’s a bad trait though because constant improvement means you keep working and raising the bar. Perhaps this trait is best confined to the things strangers do because it seems to be a problem the minute it involves friends and other known devils.
By this I mean things like public performances, singing, dancing and expressions of creativity and literary prowess. My recent sojourn to the theatre reminded me of this unfortunate quandary I was in. Yes it was very enjoyable – I did laugh, giggle, snicker and grin. But I also cringed on a few occasions, wondered where the devil the plot was going and why on earth the economy of words were not practised in the use of the lyrics interspersed into known tunes. Towards the end I was almost waiting for it to end as the end seemed to be long drawn out. A well known speech was jammed into too many lyrics and lost its very essence. The music was good as was the singing with a few flat notes. The choreography on point on some occasions but on others I felt it could be bigger – like in the war scene. There were moments of great beauty and power – especially during a murder – and there were others where it was just a dip or a cringe.
Was it a modernised representation of a thing of the past? In a sense – yes. Not entirely. Because the interpretation was a bit haphazard and it vacillated between dry humour, modern references and past greats in some kaleidoscope of structure. I felt the structure and the lyrics could definitely have been better handled. But of course, I dare not publicly declare any of this for the great stalwarts are already singing their Hosannas in agreement of its wonderful showmanship.
Perhaps the likes of me are better off critically reviewing some obscure West End piece that no one has ever heard of. But then again, how does one ever improve? Are we to brush off mediocrity simply to spare some heartbreak? Or should we be open to accepting the good, the bad and the ugly? This particular script was written by one known for his lack of editing skills, so much so that people refused to watch this rendition predicting it would be as painful as previous encounters. But of course, again, these things cannot be publicly professed. We must after all, maintain the appearances of greatness while harbouring feelings of mediocrity to spare the ego of others.
Ah well, to each their own. But in Colombo, it is to each what the other may preach. I shall continue on my unpopular trajectory in somewhat veiled obscurity with my mind constantly churning – To Cease, err or not to Cease? That is the question.