Chua Enlai, Suhaimi Yusof, Judee Tan and Alaric Tay
Photos: Tammi Tan, Lee Lay Na
Video: Zhang Jiahao
If you enjoyed The Noose cast’s hilarious skit at the new Mediacorp Campus opening in December (which had the likes of PM Lee, Rui En and Zoe Tay bursting into uncontrollable chortles) last year, get ready for more onstage satirical comedy gold at the end of this month.
Led by cast regulars Chua Enlai, Alaric Tay, Judee Tan and Suhaimi Yusof (Michelle Chong was invited to join but was unable to make it due to her schedule), The Noose & Kakis… 11 Months of Fresh Air will hold four live shows from March 31 to April 2 at The Theatre @ Mediacorp and will feature guest appearances by other comedians such as Kumar, Fakkah Fuzz, Kavin Jay and Harith Iskander.
And just like the popular Channel 5 mockumentary, the live performances will cover “topics that Singaporeans love to gripe about”, as Judee – who is also directing in addition to starring – told us.
“We have SMRT stories, Uber stories, commentary on the haze and others which we can’t tell you about now, or we’ll get into trouble,” she said, prompting Enlai to pipe up, “Speaking of getting into trouble: there’s a lot we can’t say on television, but since this is going to be a private performance in a theatre with locked doors, you’re going to hear things that cannot be said on TV.”
Another major difference from just seeing the action on the tube is that now, viewers will have the chance to “co-star” with Xin Hua Hua, Jojo Joget, Kim Bong Cha and Pornsak (Alaric’s, Suhaimi’s, Judee’s and Enlai’s characters respectively).
“(The audience) is going to be our reaction partner,” said Suhaimi. “There are going to be interactive segments so it’s like we came out of the TV – like Sadako from The Ring – to have a conversation with everyone for real,” added Enlai.
The dissimilarities between screen and stage extend to the artistes’ behind-the-scenes and preparation life. According to Suhaimi, they “never rehearse” for TV, but have been practising on a daily basis for The Noose & Kakis. “We’re actually kind of tired because we just had six days of massive, nonstop rehearsal,” Judee admitted. “This is probably the first time we’re spending so much time together, which made us discover lots of new things about ourselves and each other.”
While it’s tempting to assume that it’s all fun and laughter when they’re putting a skit together (after all, the end product is often highly entertaining), that may not be the case – when asked to describe how Judee is like as a director, Enlai, Suhaimi and Alaric threw in words like “Nazi”, “dictator” and “really from North Korea” (referring to her stiff newscaster role). Even Judee herself couldn’t help but admit that there’s “a director barking” at everyone all the time (she was, of course, talking about herself).
It sounds like they’re all joking, but Judee seemed willing to accept all the accusations, explaining, “I guess I say this because I have theatre blood in me, so I like the whole ‘ping pong’ (discussion) process; not that I enjoy the fighting – which will happen because we’re all in the pressure cooker together – but it’s from there that you get the spark.”
With each performance being a “one take only” shot with little room for mistakes (as compared to TV, where reshooting is an option), who does the cast think is most likely to accidentally slip up on stage?
Judee is confident that there will be none. “We’ve rehearsed so much and we’ll be rehearsing even more so by the time we get to The Theatre, we have gotten it, and then it’s time for us to play with the audience.”
Alaric as Xin Hua Hua, Enlai as Pornsak, Judee as Kim Bong Cha and Suhaimi as Jojo Joget at the Mediacorp Campus opening
The Noose & Kakis…11 Months of Fresh Air is presented by MediaCorp VizPro International and Channel 5.
Date: March 31 – April 2, 2016 (Thursday–Saturday)
Time: 8 pm (Thursday–Saturday), 2 pm (Saturday only)
Venue: The Theatre @ Mediacorp, 1 Stars Avenue
Ticket prices: $65, $85, $115, $135, $168 (Kakis Package), $200 (Noose Package, includes meet-and-greet with the cast) *Excludes booking fee
Tickets are available from Sistic through its website and booking hotline (6348 5555)