5th Life! Theatre Awards 2005

Two weeks ago, I decided to write an email to The Straits Times Life!, sharing my thoughts on the local theatre scene in response to an article that had been published a few days previously. I never really expected it to be noticed but thought I'd put in a few words all the same.

This Monday, Cheong Suk-Wai, a Life! journalist, rang me and told me she had been impressed by the article I had written. She offered me a guest invitation to the 5th Life! Theatre Awards that coming Wednesday and mentioned that I could bring not one, not two, but eight guests. Naturally, I was thrilled. An invitation to an exclusive theatre awards ceremony and rubbing shoulders with local theatre glitterati was definitely my cup of tea. 

Not really adhering to the swanky dress code - Om* Age - I arrived at the SPH News Centre Auditorium with some friends in a bubble of excitement. Over hors d'oeuvres and drinks, we exchanged pleasantries with journalists buzzing about like butterflies and smiled at the many recognizable faces around. Arts journalist Hong Xinyi interviewed me, asking my opinion on local theatre companies. Cheong Suk-Wai grinned at us and expressed pleasure that we made it to the event. Sumiko Tan gracefully mingled with local thespians while sipping her Chardonnay.

Adrian Pang's spirited emceeing was a hit with the crowd, particularly the jibes at his fellow thespians and the evening's Guest of Honour, MP Dr Balaji Sadasivan. Beatrice Chia and Lim Yu-Beng were both deserving as Best Actor and Actress (even if both of them were not there to collect the award) and Samantha Scott-Blackhall, with an unprecedented three nominations for Best Director, just had to win the prize.

I was a little surprised that luna-id's The Physicists, my favourite play amongst those nominated, did not win Production of the Year and lost out to The Finger Players' Furthest North, Deepest South. But then again, as Pang quipped, never underestimate the power of puppets!


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