My Life at Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong 2011-2013

Welcome To Insanity

As announced, I went to watch Amanda and Oda’s Theatre IP “Collapse” earlier this week. I entered the auditorium with high expectations of the play, knowing it was directed by two very unique and wonderful personalities – and I left it completely blown by its quality. “Collapse” is definitely one of the best IPs I’ve seen so far – and surely one of my personal favorites. 

There were two main characters in the play. No, actually it was only one, as the audience found out in the end. Gabe, our New Zealand firstyear played Dr. Cooper, a doctor who worked in an asylum. Mirva, our firstyear from Finland, played Noone, a patient. The whole story was wrapped around Noone’s insanity, her sleepless nights and fights with Dr. Cooper. The two characters barely talked. Following the practice of physical theatre, the play consisted mainly of dance, music and movement, and left the rest to the imagination of the audience. The play started with a scream, so long, surprising and loud, that the audience cringed and held their ears. Then, a girl in a white dress ran onto stage, screaming her lungs out.

At some point, when Dr. Cooper comes to Noone’s room to check on her patient, she isn’t there, has disappeared. Looking everywhere and still not finding her eventually makes Dr. Cooper call the management to know, if Noone has been released. “I’m sorry, Dr. Cooper. We have no patient in that room.” It is time for for Dr. Cooper to realize, that maybe it isn’t Noone who is insane: “Noone! I know what you’re doing! Stop f*cking hiding!” But Noone is not hiding. Being torn between her own reality, imagination and insanity, Dr. Cooper eventually sees no other way out of her situation: Noone dancing around her with light steps, Dr. Cooper put her fingers, formed to a pistol, at her head. Noone stops aside from her and for an instance, the whole room is overcome by silence. Then, a loud chck-chck-BOOM disrupts the the quietness – and Dr. Cooper and Noone simultaneously fall to the ground. One bullet. One person dead. And seemingly two bodies fade into the darkness.

As I agreed on with a co-year after the play, I think it might have been a little more effective if it hadn’t involved any speech at all, but had completely relied on movement and imagination. However, the play as a whole was simply brilliant, and both actors appeared to be very well chosen. The actress of Noone acted her character out in an overwhelmingly convincing way, stretching her body to unnatural extents and constantly controlling both mimic and gesture. She was the absolute master of her own body and movements, and her parts of “speech” – especially the screams in the beginning! – were both moving and appalling. The end of the plot was surprising and mind-blowing, and many had not understood the hidden meaning of Noone’s name at the first glance. Noone, NoOne. “Collapse” has been a brilliant, fascinating and yet depressing play that I enjoyed with all my heart. Plus, I was absolutely impressed by Mirva’s performance.

Hats off to all actors and the two directors Oda and Amanda. Bravo!

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