I guess it's nice that theatre companies are trying out venues apart from the usual black box/traditional spaces, but really, AquaNova was a pretty bad idea. Sure, it's great for intimate standup comedy like Kumar, but Penis Society was anything but.
I went into the show not expecting that much, considering that the three actors are all new, and well, if the title is anything to go by, honestly what were you expecting? But despite my lack of expectations, the show still failed to leave any sort of impact on me at all. Even running at a mere 60 minutes, I was edging to leave before the halfway point.
If it was meant to be a comedy, it was definitely nowhere near succeeding. Any and pretty much all jokes in the script were immature and probably intended for an audience of much lower intellectual beings than the audience tonight. Laughs were few and far between, and attempts at audience engagement were poor and fell flat and felt awkward and forced.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, AquaNova was a bad venue. There weren't enough seats, and a lot of people wound up sitting behind the stage and not getting any visuals at all. Not that there were any to begin with. How low budget was this play anyway, and where did they dig these three actors from? Who wrote the script (Goh Boon Teck and Patricia Toh??) and what happened to any sense of good theatricality? Crude attempts at physical humour were terrible and I could see most of the audience members had the jokes soar right over their heads, or in one ear and out the other.
The script went nowhere. I understand that it's a sketch based play, but these were really rushed sketches, and they all seemed rather pointless. I didn't understand and couldn't see what the play was intending to do at the end of the day. From the misleading synopsis I assumed it was an attempt to shed light behind the reasons for and understanding the psyche behind the multitude of sex scandals that happened in Singapore. But what I saw tonight was an awful series of sketches that went nowhere, tried to sound lyrical but really signified nothing, and a threesome of low budget actors that overemphasised everything, came off as completely unrelatable, and didn't even try to appeal emotionally to anyone. It was such an alien play that offered neither sympathy nor attempt at understanding the sex scandals that happened, neither from the male nor female perspective.
The single funniest part of the play was when the men made a stifled attempt to laugh and cry at the fact that they were having affairs. Mostly because I read it as a failed attempt to conceal their laughter at how ridiculously bad the whole show was.
You're better off spending the money on a few drinks and having a laugh with your friends than wasting it on this confused production. Toy Factory really missed the mark with this one.
JustWatchLah Rating: 1/5
P.S. In all honesty, this might have worked well on radio, because it would probably be something interesting to listen to on the drive home. I mean, it has the right level of emphases, and it's funny enough to listen to and imagine the characters. But gawd, watching it onstage was kitschy, amateur, and I'd think twice again before buying a ticket to a show at a questionable venue again.