On the 22nd of April, our beautiful performance theatre was once again crowded with people from various schools. The VJC Chinese society was going to present their long-awaited show.
For the past year, the J2s have been preparing for this night. For the J1s, though they joined in the club not more than six months ago, they have undoubtedly given all they can to produce a perfect performance. As a boarder in Victoria Hall myself, I witnessed how they rehearsed in the hostel until ten o’clock, more than three times a week, perfecting everything from postures to facial expressions. “For any concert it’s a struggle for us. Need to balance academics and CCA rehearsals. I believe the various directors work every day. They have to come up with the plan today so they can tell the actors what to do tomorrow. Training for us is quite intense, maybe three four times a week.”(Chen Zile, president of the Chinese society)
For this year’s performance, there was a good mix of plays. The first play – Blossoms beyond the shore – is a tragic piece which brings the refugee crisis in the middle east to the stage. With help from the PA crew, it succeeded in creating an authentic atmosphere, through the use of light and sound effects, to draw the audience in. “It impressed me that they actually dared to choose such a heavy topic that is difficult to manage.”(Xiaoyu, a student from National Junior College) The guest of honour, Mr Chen An De, also acknowledged the efforts dedicated by our students, saying “I enjoyed it very much, especially the theme and the context, which I think is very good. Now you see the refugees coming from Greece as well as Turkey. The Greek government is trying to deal with the problem, asking the Turkish government to assist, so you can see it’s a serious issue. I think the performance is relevant to the issue.”
The second play, Stay in Tuned, seemed to resonate profoundly with the audience. With a theme related to love, some humorous elements injected into the play, and the splendid acting delivered by our students, the second play lifted the atmosphere in the performance theatre. “It is such a nice and funny play.” (Zhu Xingyu, usher of the Chinese Drama Night) “Because our play is quite romantic, and a large part of it takes place when the protagonist reflects on her love experience when she was a student, we hope that it can remind the audience of some of their own memorable times.” (Hu Xinbei, actress of the show)
The third play, Search Your Soul, had some horror elements inside. Featuring a detective story, the play successfully appealed to the audience with its up and downs. The most interesting plot twist, in my opinion, takes place during the this play. Everybody was completely shocked when they saw two actors who looked exactly the same —— same face, same height and same attire. “Oh, my God ! What did they do to his face? ” After interviewing the crew members, we discovered that this year’s Chinese society had invited twin brothers to give a surprise to the audience. Chenyue, the elder brother, is from VJC whereas, Qiushi, the younger brother, is from National Junior College.
It was heartening to see how different parties collaborated with each other. The scripts and trailers were mainly done by the members of the Chinese Society under the superintendence of the teachers-in-charge: Mr Tan Han Zong, Ms Lee Woon Leng and Ms Yun Yanyi. Studio V helped the club on the actual day to film the performance, and PA crew did most of the sound and light effects. For this year’s event, the Chinese Society also got to work with ACJC to produce a wonderful performance.
What distinguishes Hai Cheng from any other schools’ performance is the fact that it gathers all Chinese scholars from various schools. While the other CCAs were struggling to sell their concert tickets, the Chinese Society can easily get a full house every year. Stepping out of the performance theatre after the event, you would be impressed by the number of non-Victorians taking selfies with their Victorian friends out there. For the many of us, 22nd April might only be another boring Friday. However, for Hai Cheng Ren (as the members of the Chinese Society call themselves), it means a day of reunification.
(Photo Creds: Chinese Society & Photosoc)
Liu Jiayi, 16S52
Ren Jiaqi, 16A12