Thu, Oct 03, 2019 - Page 14 News List

More Taipei talent

Five Taiwan-based playwrights transverse time and space with challenging existentialist, absurd and inquisitive themes

By Jerome Keating  /  Contributing reporter

A scene from Flight 109,one of five plays that will be performed this weekend as part of the second installment of Taipei Shorts II at Fu Jen University’s CFL Theater in New Taipei City.

Photos courtesy of Alicia Haddad

Taipei enjoyed a delightful treat this past weekend with the first five of the original 10 plays that make up Taipei Shorts II. And if viewers liked those, the coming five plays promise an even more provocative and enticing evening.

In the upcoming works, the five new playwrights transverse time and space with challenging existentialist, absurd and inquisitive themes.

In A Gift from the Heavens, Mark Caltonhill revisits the death of Tang Dynasty poet, Li Bai (李白) but frames his verses with 1930 Taiwanese folk songs set in the politically repressive 1970s. The protagonist sings these folk songs to literary, political and comical effect.

A T Beaune takes viewers into a different dimension mixing the modern with the past in Flight 109. In this play, Aqua on her round the world flight faces the existentialist conflict of being true to oneself as well as to one’s lover who remains at home.

In preparation, theatregoers are advised to read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 109 and be aware of Sandra Tavoli’s musical rendition of it, to get the full complexity of all expressed.

Shashwati Talukdar veers into the absurd with a mind-bending challenge of a different sort in Memory Stratagem. Here a memory expert in a remote monastery is trying to sort out the true story of a hero from a distant time, while being hassled by a monk to move quickly and just get it done.

Culture Bleep by Esther Wainwright also takes viewers into the absurd in the year 2040. There a desperate Mr Vain finds that, having lost his mobile phone, he is unable to link with his social media and therefore starts losing his viewers.

Finally, after all the heavy stuff, Emily Haver brings delight with Little Moons. Here two people wearing hydrated facemasks and listening to Debussy’s Clare de Lune come together to witness an eclipse.

Performance Notes

What: Taipei Shorts II

When: Tomorrow at 8pm, Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm

Where: CFL Theater, Fu Jen University (輔仁大學理圖劇場), 510 Zhongzheng Rd, Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City (新北市新莊區中正路510號)

Admission: NT$ 500 online and at the door.

On the Net:

On one level, it is simply a “sweet and silly love story” the dream-like type that everyone longs to experience. Yet at another level, it reminds us that love and magic are real and that we should always be open to their possibility.

All in all, the coming weekend promises to be a wild ride for viewers, and certainly one well worth the experience.

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