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REVIEW / THEATRE[hhmc]

FAT KIDS ARE HARDER TO KIDNAP ON ZOOM

Last Saturday

Zoom

The video footage freezes as someone speaks over video-conferencing platform Zoom, his face stuck in an unflattering position.

In a separate video call, a man excuses himself from a meeting to speak with "a client" over the phone, only to criticise his boss while calling a friend and forgetting to mute his audio on the work call.

These scenes are part of the latest edition of theatre company How Drama's comedy show Fat Kids Are Harder To Kidnap, which takes place over Zoom.

The hilarious collection of 15 short plays unfolds over 30 minutes. The audience, which comprised some 60 viewers last Saturday, decides the sequence of the plays by calling out numbers that correspond to titles such as Technical Difficulties, Work Call and Covid Cooking.

Directed by former Straits Times Life deputy editor Melissa Sim, the show featured actors Ross Nasir, Pavan J. Singh, Nicholas Bloodworth, Victoria Chen and Vester Ng portraying scenarios from the circuit breaker and other recent developments.

They play roles ranging from a social-media influencer, grieved that she has nothing new from activewear label Lululemon for her followers to see, to a baby boomer who gets upset when advised to wear his mask properly.

The show's plays are funny and relatable, being either jibes at topics in the news or everyday challenges arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

I was particularly tickled when Singh, playing a reporter at a press conference, asked a fictional minister: "Instead of calling it a circuit breaker, can we call it a lockdown?"

In another memorable scene, Ross, as a school teacher, makes a handicraft of a sheep using cotton wool and other materials, in a reference to Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing's gaffe in a video interview last month.

The cast members switched seamlessly between their characters and performing over Zoom did not seem much of a challenge.

Turning their bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens into mini sets, they represented through their acts the many ways in which people have made the best of their stay-at-home situation.

The production was easy to watch, with its short duration catering to the limited attention span of people staring into screens.

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