Friday night was the finals of the RJC (Raffles Junior College, my old school) Dramafest, an inter-faculty drama competition where each faculty has to write and produce an original play. The Orgers of CAP’97 decided it would be a good occasion to attempt a reunion.
[Perhaps I should explain the Orgers. At the 1997 Creative Arts Programme, we were a bunch of RJC students who loved the writing aspect of the programme but also loved sitting around flinging innuendoes, insults and assorted bitches at each other for hours. We started off as “the RJ group”. Then “the Orgy group” due to our nightly tendency to congregate in large numbers in small rooms and sprawl on beds. Finally, we amalgamated the two and became the Orgers.
On the second-last day of the camp, each writing workshop group was given a pageworth of space in the daily camp publication to do whatever they wanted with. What we eventually came up with was so filthy on so many levels that the entire thing got heavily censored and most of it never got published.
What did make it to publication, I think, was one of our group efforts at bad poetry:
Weevils desire only their own death, after all
As screwdrivers roll to never-ending halts
The chair shakes; I am afraid.
The ticking stalks through the grass.
I, in the centre of this vortex,
grasp the fragile life-bird and sing.
Her feathers are notes of hard hatred
And her beak is made of desolation
Her scream blows me off myself
through the facade of my Taka face
The pen is in my hand
I run unabashedly to the mouth
of the double-barrelled shotgun
Some weeks later, we were at an open-mike poetry reading at the Substation, and decided on a whim to do Tequila Sunrise, intending to bring some comic relief to the session. So there we were, declaiming the lines, complete with interpretive dance, and the audience sat there completely straight-faced and took everything seriously.
I’m not sure if it was an indictment of our failure to produce truly abysmal poetry or the generally pretentious climate of poetry reading sessions at the time, but whatever it was, it was hilarious, if a little embarassing.]
Back to Dramafest finals. It was typical, I guess. The Arts faculty play had people yelling about censorship and repression (although I must say the dance culminating in crucifixion symbolism was new), and the Medicine faculty play was workmanlike and coherent, but ultimately far less interesting to me than the organized chaos of the Arts production.
Is it just me or does almost every play I’ve seen in my life feature a line somewhere that goes “No matter how much everything changes, everything is still…(meaningful pause)…the same”, or variations on it?
After that we descended on Holland Village in droves as Rafflesians tend to do after college events, spent an extremely long time walking around trying to find a place that could accomodate the unwieldy size of our group, and finally settled down for murtabak (a South Indian dish which involves very stretchy dough, onions, and minced meat, and it’s dee-lish), bubble tea and teh ahlia (ginger tea).
After supper we popped in at Tangos, where other friends were drinking, to try and find more people to share the post-midnight cab fare with, and ended up talking about labia and clitoria (a flower we had to study for GCE Biology which unsurprisingly bore a striking resemblance to a…) and other similarly debauched things for twenty minutes before I finally decided I probably had to start for home if I wanted to be fully awake to judge the national debate finals the next day.