What Big Bombs You Have!!!
by Haresh Sharma
The Necessary Stage
M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2005: Art & War
(organised and curated by TNS)
Esplanade Theatre Studio, Singapore
It was my first time in the Esplanade Theatre Studio for Haresh Sharma's new play What Big Bombs You Have!!! staged as part of the inaugural M1 Singapore Fringe Festival with the theme of Art & War. It's a great venue: simple black-box structure, great central location and nice, comfortable seats that can be easily configured around different acting spaces.
The director, an animated Natalie Hennedige, took the floor before the play commenced, introducing the subject matter and informing the audience of the talk-back forum that was to be held after the play ended.
Sharma's play is a complex and layered one, to say the least. Incorporating the story of Little Red Riding Hood as its basic template, it questions the very nature of safety and security in a world fraught with war and violence. The five actors do exceptionally well in fusing physical theatre, drama and rib-tickling comedy (Hossan Leong's comic ballet and Chua Enlai's Austin Powers-inspired act are particularly memorable), aided by great lighting and sound effects.
Hennedige infuses the play with many non-verbal scenes, at times even more arresting and powerful than the dialogue. By turns haunting and hilarious, What Big Bombs You Have!!! definitely lives up to the notion of fringe theatre by throwing as many questions at its audience as answers.
An enjoyable theatre experience indeed and good to know that Sharma's craft remains in top form.