If There're Seasons (Musical)

E-mail this post

Remember me (?)

All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of Blogger.com. More...

The Theatre Practice’s latest offering is an ambitious one – to create a musical based on Liang Wen Fook’s music. For those unfamiliar with his music, he has written more than 200 songs and is considered the pioneer of ‘xinyao’, having won the title of the “Person Who Best Represents the Xinyao Spirit”. ‘Xinyao’ is a distinct brand of ‘Singaporean music’ characterized with simple melodies and poetic lyrics about this homeland and lives.

“If there’re seasons” is the brain child of Liang, and several other big names such as award-winning playwright Raymond, and director Kuo Jian Hong, with cast members George Chan, Joanna Dong, Sebastian Tan and Magdalene See.

The story revolves around Ah Le, Ah Qiang and Rose, who meet up in New York, all searching for their dreams and nursing a wound from their previous lost love. This group of young friends share their love for music, and battle with reclaiming their old loves.

Fans of Liang’s music will enter a nostalgic pathway, reclaiming memories of songs they used to be familiar with. There is a total of 40 songs used, from the theme song “If there’re seasons” (Tian Leng Jiu Hui Lai), to “Anchored Love” (Lian Zhi Qi), “Worry” (Dan Xin) and “Let’s Watch the Sunrise Together” (Pei Wo Kan Ri Chu), popularized by locals artistes Kit Chan and Joi Chua.

The musical arrangement of Bang Wenfu breathes new life to these otherwise familiar tunes. And with the characters singing them in their own styles and stories, they bring a different interpretation which would still move the audience.

The lead actor George Chan (better known to local audience as The Dance Floor’s judge) does an amazing job in delivering the songs in his unique baritone voice and clear enunciation to many audiences’s surprise. Personally, I felt he could balance between retaining the original ‘xinyao’ flavour and adding his own emotions to the music. His duet with Sebastian Sim “If You Should Think Of Me” (Ru Guo Ni Bu Xiao Xin Xiang Qi Wo) was easily the most memorable and touching piece of the night.

While the musical’s strength is in its music, it could very well be its weakest link as well. Perhaps there were too many songs used, there wasn’t a clear identity or theme song unifying the whole musical. If you try to recall, there aren’t that many pieces that could emote fully but seem to be there to fill up space.

Because these songs are originally written as ‘xinyao’ or pop, the fit into the story appeared like a messy patchwork at times. While most of the ensemble pieces are entertaining and fun, there are too many solos which dragged the storyline. Somewhat forced and unnatural, the removal of some songs may actually do better good to the entire musical.

The beauty of Liang’s lyrics lies in its poetic nature, and the English translation may not bring out the full flavour of its original intention. Audience who do not understand Chinese may just see many words like ‘flowers’, ‘sun’, ‘moon’, and ‘sky’ used, and may be lost in deciphering the hidden metaphors.

While this journey is without its flaws, it would still appeal to those who grew up with the songs. “If there’re seasons” is like autumn. At times while it feels cold and draggy, the songs would still strike a chord, and bring you memories and feelings of warmth that you may have left behind.

If There're Seasons - Strikes A Chord
Original review found here:

0 Responses to “If There're Seasons (Musical)”

Leave a Reply

      Convert to boldConvert to italicConvert to link


About me

Previous posts