Preview: How Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth: A King Lear Parody

By Lee Chin Wee (14A01B)

What do Raffles alumni do in their free time after graduation?

Aside from two years of compulsory National Service for the guys, we end up getting involved in all sorts of activities: from studying till 2 am in the university library to fretting about getting the right internships so that Future You can pay rent and feed himself, post-JC life is just so fun.

When I’m not scraping together a living or curating my Instagram feed, I’m rehearsing for an independent production. It’s no Hamilton or Book of Mormon, but it promises to be great fun – it’s titled “How Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth”, and is an irreverent parody of the Shakespearean classic, King Lear.

The story is simple. After many years of middling reign, King Lear decides it’s time to be more than just the worst parent of all time. He’s going to be the greatest retired king ever. He may not keep his power or his responsibilities, but he’s jolly well keeping his titles and respect. One thing leads to another, and by the final act (SPOILER ALERT) nearly everyone dies.

Picture1
Damn right, I’m going to be the best king of all time. [Matthew Ryan, ACS(I)]
As much as we love the Bard of Avon for his contributions to modern literature and the English language, sometimes watching a Shakespearean play can be a tad dry. So we’ve selected a professionally-written script that ditches the Early Modern English, and jazzes things up a bit:

ALBANY
These letters prove you made love to both my
wife and her sister.  What do you have to say
for yourself?

EDMUND
You’ve got to understand.  I come from a
broken home!

ALBANY
And you’re the one who broke it!

EDMUND
I just wanted to experience the affection I
never had as a child!

ALBANY
By making love to my wife?????

EDMUND
Well, I never had that experience as a
child.

What started off as a modest project between friends has quickly become a fairly large endeavour. For one, we realised that loads of talented people were more than willing to contribute their time to this production So, we assembled the Avengers – that is to say, if the Avengers comprised young adults with limited athletic ability and a passion for theatre.

We reached out to friends from other schools (we’ve got actors from ACS(I) and SJI), RI alumni from the years below us, and our batchmates who were free thanks to summer break (Aeron, one of our batchmates, does UberEats deliveries on his way to rehearsals. Hurrah for adult life).

No rehearsal space? No problem. One of our friends agreed to have his entire living room converted into a makeshift stage. Seriously – we aren’t kidding when we call ourselves “Living Room Productions”.

Picture2
It’s a boy! (Aeron is on the right.)

In true-blue millennial youth fashion, we are casting off the nasty shackles of late capitalism and are donating all proceeds from the production to a charity of our choosing. None of us are pocketing a single cent, and we’re hoping to raise about $2000 for a good cause.

Here’s the best part: Tickets are currently being sold for $20 a pop, but as a token of thanks for reading Raffles Press (after all, I used to be Press chairperson back in 2013–14), we’re offering a 10% discount! Just go to this website, and key in the code ‘PRESS2017’ upon checkout. The promotion is, however, limited and expires on 14 Jul (Fri), 2359 hrs.

Remember, after the recent HPB initiative, one ticket to the play is effectively worth six healthy set meals in the canteen – and is probably going to entertain you much more than cai fan with a slice of fruit and a can of Coke Zero would.

Picture3
One big happy family.

If you’re undecided, you can follow us on our Facebook page here, and keep yourself updated.

 

How Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth runs on 24 and 25 July (7 pm both nights) at the Goodman Arts Centre.

Directed by Jeremy Khoo and Marc Leong. Starring Aeron Ee, Cai Hai Yun, Cheang Ko Lyn, Emily Eng, Jeremy Khoo, Lee Chin Wee, Lee Xin-rui, Marc Leong, Matthew Ryan, Myko Balbuena, Tan Kuan Hian, and Victoria Teng.

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