I was late for the 7pm show for Our House’s Si Chris, Claire, ug Merci Featuring Three Original One-act Plays (Playwright: Josh Eballe; Directed by: Troy Tomarong). When I arrived the first act was already halfway through, I think. But the scene I saw was reminiscent of Mike Bartlett’s Cock, the part where the protagonist couple was confronting each other about the supposed failures each one allowed to happen.
The first act ended, signaling it was time for the second act to commence. In comes a lady and based on her lines and the set, it appears she works in a corporate office, replete with all the paraphernalia. Then Carlos enters the scene, the ‘good’ alter. I’m not sure if it was on purpose, but Claire was avoiding eye contact with Carlos, perhaps suggesting that indeed Carlos was not there physically. Claire asks Carlos to leave and let her be.
Enter the convincing Cassandra. With her long body, she slithered into the scene. One would be reminded of the snake in the Garden of Eden. She was prodding Claire to let go of her inhibitions: to shop, party, well, basically, to live a hedonistic life. She ultimately provided her proposition to Claire: allow her to dominate and realize their full potential for success. Ruthless, that’s what she is.
Claire could have shared her anguish with the audience, how she was abused by her mother, how she suffered. The actress attempted to, but, in my opinion, was only almost successful in doing so.
On Carlos, the character could have shown righteous anger. Even though the description of him was ‘comforting and gentle’, it is possible for him to have more conviction in delivering his lines.
For this act, there were parts where the lines were delivered in a sing-song manner. I hope this would be reduced or removed in their future performances.
Then the last part of the tripartite play ensued. One would really be thankful for the protagonist in this act: Merci, a transgender woman. She was really effective in playing the role, although there are times, the ‘extra lines’ almost seemed to be teetering on excessive, but it’s innocuous. The father, Benjamin (in the Spanish tongue), was egging his daughter to accept the love proffered by Jomer (who showed some skin which allowed the act to have a playful air when we see Merci ogling and checking his body out from a distance).
I love how this act anchored on the importance of acceptance: from family, of our decisions on how we want to live our lives, and from would-be lovers, of how we can allow ourselves to be vulnerable when we love. For this is the essence of love: vulnerability, to times of joy and happiness, and to the impossibly painful possibility of getting hurt.