Aiseyman! Sexy, raunchy and uninhibited Geylang titillates audiences till they cum!

Geylang

Editor’s Note: This is a review of the play Geylang which was staged at 10 Square @ Orchard Central by W!ld Rice’s Young & W!LD. This is a contribution by our resident art critic.


 

Sexy, raunchy, uninhibited. These 3 words are not only an apt description of the image we conjure in our heads whenver someone mentions 'Geylang', but also perfectly describes young & W!LD’s latest play on one of Singapore's most colourful district.

And what can we expect from infamous Geylang? Violent gangsters and prostitutes peddling drugs and sex, check. Pimps, mediums, and human traffickers who prey on helpless souls, check. A Malay-Chinese couple intercoursing along the Geylang river, check. And civil servants who are tasked to relocate an old Mee Rebus shop to make way for a more 'modern' and 'developed' town, check.

It also wouldn't really be Geylang without dialogues littered with sexual innuendos, kinky phallic props and skimpy outfits. Kudos also to the actors for not shying away from explicit adult action involving deep, lingering french kisses, dry humping and a climatic hand job, which left nothing to the imagination.

Yet behind all the excitement and titillation, the play does try to redirect the audience's blood flow back to the brain by exploring a few serious issues about race, identity, and the dilemma of whether our national heritage should be preserved or destroyed. As Singapore's landscape evolves to accomodate a bigger and more diverse population of people, these issues are especially pertinent to anyone who calls Geylang or Singapore home.

It is thus a pity that other than Geylang, which serves as the common location which tied the various short stories together, the entire play seems a little incoherent. Each individual story was performed in an insular manner, yet the story of the civil servants seeking to revamp the district was broken up into clips that were inserted in between the other stories. Seen in this context, the recyling of the same actors in different roles and different stories made it confusing for the audience, for we are left to wonder if the stories are interlinked, and then finally realizing at the end of it that they are not.

Overall, Geylang offers and uninhibited glimpse into the past, present, and future of Geylang and the people who call it home. Unfortunately, its uninhibitions also extended itself to the direction of the play (or lack thereof), which made it slightly awkward and disjointed, although the sexually charged scenes would have more than made up for it in entertaining the crowd.

 

Sharifah H.