Plays at Yishun

            Yishun Junior College performed two plays on the Cleopatra theme. Firstly, my adapted version of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra which preserves Iras and Enobarbus as commentators on the action. This was partly to make the play more intelligible to its audience and partly to provide connecting scenelets to compensate for cutting out many of Shakespeare’s smaller scenes during the battle of Actium and when Enobarbus exhibits remorse over deserting Antony as well as the entire Thidias episode. Even so, the performance was three hours long including a twenty minute interval. Two songs were sung live, Shakespeare’s Come, Thou Monarch of the Vine, which was given two more verses on a carpe diem theme, and a lament with original lyrics sung as Cleopatra prepares to die. Battles were conveyed by the projection of a succession of military or naval pictures with appropriate music and likewise Enobarbus’s description of Cleopatra’s arrival at Cydnus.

            They Bless Her When She’s Frisky, part comedy, part political satire, was a prequel to Antony and Cleopatra concerned with Cleopatra’s romance with Julius Caesar, his assassination and subsequent events and Cleopatra’s meeting with Antony at Cydnus. The play contained two anthems, Roman and Egyptian, both with original lyrics and sung live. The plays required large casts of up to fifty major and minor characters presented in approximately modern dress. The various Roman factions were given colours so that Antony and his followers were dressed in red military jackets and Caesar, Octavius and their followers in white with Brutus and Cassius in black. When Enobarbus changes sides in Antony and Cleopatra his jacket changes accordingly. Egyptians were acted by females, Romans (with one or two necessary exceptions) by males. The dim-witted mob in Frisky was also acted mainly by girls.

            Kinahasa was originally presented as a one scene playlet for a youth drama festival. It was entitled Minahasa and is set in Sulawesi when it was part of the old Dutch East Indies. The writing on the boards is in Minahasan, a language of north Sulawesi. Since the play (and its later extended version) is a fable I changed the title and setting to Kinahasa which is entirely fictional. The crest is something like the real Minahasan one with an additional snake denoting sinister subversion and treachery.

LYRICS OF CLEOPATRA SONGS

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Ticket handout for Frisky

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Frisky - Hot & Cold, Cleopatra and Octavia
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Frisky - Antony and Cleopatra at Cydnus

Anthony meets Cloepetra
Frisky - Anthony and Cleopetra as the goddess Isis

 


Frisky - Antony meets Cleopatra crowned as the goddess Isis

Cleopetra and Prince
Frisky - Antony meets Cleopatra crowned as the goddess Isis

 

Frisky - Full Cast
Frisky - Full Cast


Iras and Enobarbus
Antony & Cleopatra -  Iras and Enobarbus


Sanctimonious Caesar
Antony & Cleopatra -  Sanctimonious Caesar

Roman Orgy
Antony & Cleopatra -  Roman Orgy

Cleopatra roughs up a messenger
Antony & Cleopatra -  Cleopatra roughs up a messenger
  Cleopatra roughs up messenger more thoroughly
Antony & Cleopatra -  Cleopatra roughs up messenger more thoroughly

Cleopatra's suicide
Antony & Cleopatra -  Cleopatra's suicide
 

Antony & Cleopatra - Set Design. The goddess Isis flaked by the Roman capitoline wolf and the Egyptian sphinx
Antony & Cleopatra - Set Design.
The goddess Isis flanked by the Roman capitoline wolf and the Egyptian sphinx
Antony and Cleopatra – poster
Antony & Cleopatra -  Poster

Antony and Cleopatra – poster. Iras and Enobarbus were utilized to comment on the action of the play.
Antony & Cleopatra -  Iras and Enobarbus were utilized to comment on the action of the play

  Antony and Cleopatra – poster  Iras and Enobarbus provided a comic element as well.
Antony & Cleopatra -  Iras and Enobarbus provided a comic element as well

Antony and Cleopatra – poster. The play was presented in approximately modern dress
Antony & Cleopatra -  The play was presented in approximately modern dress

The province’s name was subsequently changed from real-life Minahasa to Kinahasa.
Kinahasa – Crest and Cast.
The province’s name was subsequently changed from real-life Minahasa to Kinahasa

  Kinahasa- Cast Alone
Kinahasa - Cast alone
Kinahasa - Injunction
Kinahasa - Injunction
  Kinahasa – injunction in Minahasan
Kinahasa – Injunction in Minahasan

 

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