LAST TANGO IN SEMBAWANG
List of Characters
THE DARK ONE
(inspired by the Hindu Goddess Kali & Chinnamasta)
(shades of Chew Tze Chuan & Toh Hai Leong)
1. Black Space. Timeless.
Minah Kueh is tipsy. Temporal freedom from negative emotions and thoughts. The spirit at ease with the flesh.
Hailey Chow saves Minah from falling flat on her face.
Minah can’t help falling over Hailey’s arm, thigh, leg, chest, shoulder, back, head, neck, face.
Sometimes after the fall, there comes a pause with the right tension and beautiful posture.
Awkward. Sensuous. Hungry. Lonely. Aggressive. Hopeless. Silence. Meditative. Impish. Bitchy. Cynical. Despair. Angry. Ferocious. But never really hysterical or mad at times. But what is sanity?
2. Park beside MRT exit. Night.
Hailey walks with Ulu in the park as Wondergal. They have a child like exchange of words and improvised actions, movements, and happenings. Talk talk talk. Make believe with the ginger plant, street lights, lamp posts, tree, branches and leaves in the shade. A dark womb of mother nature.
3. Classroom 2 at The Substation. Twilight.
Ulu uses anger and delirium like he is annihilating the text he reads, yells, mumbles, rants, ridicules, blares, and gibber from the black journal in his hands. He fights himself and wrestles with the empty seats and tables.
4. Park beside MRT exit. Night.
Hailey-Wondergal walks with Ulu. But Ulu doesn’t speak anymore.
Ulu produces a pathetic hymn of shrieks, wails and groans, as his body/flesh fails him.
Wondergal tries to help Ulu, but he just wants to fall apart.
5. Hailey encounters Minah on a quiet road. Day.
The black & white house in Sembawang?
The hill beside Jalan Sendudok leading to the woods that stand beside a land in preliminary stage of urban development?
They walk through the last traces of woods.
They talk serenely to each other occasionally.
Beauty. Nature. Sunlight. Calmness. Minah in sarong kebaya.
Minah leads Hailey to a secluded corner in the woods.
Minah places her hand softly on Hailey’s heart.
Minah uses the same hand to draw something in the air.
6. Hailey is drawing alone in a musty room. Day.
The more Hailey draws, the further she is drawn into the flashes in her mind.
The cut out of celebrity’s faces and figures from magazines and newspapers in Hai Leong’s bag. “body parts”
Layers and pieces of magazine cut out are clouding Hailey’s vision.
An improvised performance of panic attack changes into heart seizure.
7. Unknown space. Unknown time.
Ulu grows maniac.
Ulu makes several failed attempts to inflict physical harm on Hailey. He is mad with her existence. But his aggression can never touch her. The more he wants to kill her, the more he wants to kill himself.
8. Unknown space. Unknown time.
Wondergal is fighting the spasm.
The seizure never seem to kill her.
It recurs to torture her body and spirit relentlessly.
It comes in moment of cold sweat and dizzy spells;
moments of collapse and coma;
briefly followed by a jolt of life force fuelled by piercing pain and anguish.
It is so unbearable that the tension in Wondergal’s hand tears a hole in her costume. This agony continues until Wondergal stands up as Schizo Hailey.
9. Unknown space. Unknown time.
Minah is falling over nobody in the musty room. Sometimes she struts with the tension and posture of a female stud. Sometimes she swings like an animal in heat. Perspiration. The flesh, spirit, and sarong kebaya are one exquisite beast.
10. Unknown space. Unknown time.
Schizo Hailey appears in an executive suit.
Minah is drunk on the couch. Hailey is attending to her like a psychotherapist.
Minah’s sarong kebaya is all wet and tainted with earth.
Hailey brings out a bottle of wine and starts pouring it onto Minah’s lips like a necessary elixir.
Hailey places her palm on Minah’s forehead. She feels like a priestess from the wilderness. She caresses Minah’s belly like a parent to the baby. The Wine Ritual.. Dionysian.. ecstatic frenzy
Break time. Minah-Actress smokes a cigarette. She remains seated while her make-up artist works on her face and body to produce the look of The Dark One.
Certain features on Hailey-Actress’s face are enhanced to create a more sinister look inspired by the Japanese theatrical masks of ancient evil spirit.
Ulu-Actor exchanges energy of the killer/suicide angst with Minah-Actress and Hailey-Actress.
Minah rises from the Schizo Hailey’s couch of The Wine Ritual. Minah is the Dark One now. She initiates Hailey into the variations on movements from Scene 1. They fall, twist, pull, stretch, jerk, strut, fall, writhe and wrestle in quick succession of union and incongruence. This is the personification of the becoming of greed, aversion and delusion.
Translucent fabrics grows from Ulu like he is cutting and spilling his guts in a Harakiri.
Minah and Hailey tussle with Ulu in the translucent fabrics.
Ripping fabrics. Minah and Hailey reach a state of ecstasy.
Ulu is gone.
– the end –