Archive for October, 2007

Review: 上海人家 (Shanghai Ren Jia) Eatery

On the advice of the mother’s friend regarding xiao long bao, the mother and J. headed towards Sembawang to check out a Shanghai-ese eatery. It’s located next to and outlet of Han’s, which recently has a big “Open 24hrs” banner hanging outside.

Shanghai Ren Jia Sign

When J. first saw the sign from the car, he thought it said, “工人海家 “, which made absolutely no sense. Anyway, on closer look, the place was quite deserted for a Sunday evening with only one table of 5 present, especially in comparison to Han’s next door. The fact that the staff was from Shanghai was made evident by their Shanghai accent (no, not just Chinese accent, Shanghai accent)

The chairs were rattan, the table cloth old-fashioned, and some of the ceiling lights were off, giving the place an old, worn-down feel. Not the best way to start a meal. Mother pointed out that it wasn’t so nice for the cookery to not be segregated from the eating area, especially for a Chinese cookery, but J. didn’t think that was a problem. Anyway, the focus is on the food, so J. and Mother ignored the surroundings and ordered some food.

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Playhouse 2007: Final Thoughts

The following is a collection of somewhat random thoughts regarding Playhouse 2007. Just to round things off. Let’s say once again… Hurrah to the successful conclusion of Playhouse 2007!

On the Event
It was held at the University Cultural Centre (UCC) this year, a departure from the usual venue of LT13. While it was vastly more expensive for the Medical Society, more so when [a] long play[s] made the entire event longer, it was a unique experience to act in the UCC Theatre with its dressing rooms and large back-stage area. Unlike LT13, there was also a greater variety of places to rehearse. And let’s not forget the water coolers and clean toilets!

Unfortunately, with the UCC came a new set of problems. Despite the event being free, the place (and ushers) demanded tickets for anyone entering. Towards the start of our show (when the M5s came to give their support) there were no more tickets, and we ended up gathering ticket stubs which EkT had to deliver to the waiting supporters. If we wanted to use their projector, we had to pay extra. In the end, we ended up bringing our own projector which was placed at the top row.

That aside, UCC has a great theatre, and it was a good experience.

On People
To my amazement, there were house officers and more who came down to watch Playhouse. Some of these people had participated in last year’s Playhouse, with an amazing play written by Chen Seong that arguably should have won the Best Play award last year (the current M4s, then M3, won). One of the guest judges, Shahrier, is an MO who’s been a major contributor to medsoc and his year’s Playhouse throughout the years and continues to support the event.

The dean came down to support the event, and we’d like to think that he found our play amusing, despite the bits of potentially politically sensitive stuff thrown in every now and then.

After clearing up, we gathered outside for a debrief. JoC, RaR and EkT took turns to speak, congratulating us on a job well done. And it was, actually. Think about it. Our first Playhouse was passable, our second laughable, our third unavailable. Like they said, thanks go out to the props and crew people who did all the saigang such that everyone else could concentrate on what they were supposed to do.

After that, it was off to Holland Village as two separate parties of ten they accidentally met. They ended up congregating at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao as a massive party of twenty. Urp.

Some Niggling Things
Incidentally, the Faculty of Medicine Shield (FMS) is an annual prize given to a medical year. There’s usually a point scoring, and it comprises of both the Intra-Faculty games (IFG) as well as Playhouse (Sports & Arts, so to speak). This year, the FMS went to the M2s… supposedly.

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Playhouse 2007: Thoughts on the Night Itself

Playhouse 2007 has successfully concluded. Unfortunately, having spent most of the afternoon preparing, all the participants of the M5 Playhouse play were unable to watch the other plays, and thus I am unable to comment on the other plays.

M5 Playhouse Team

Regarding the M5 play
It was evident from the moment we saw the script that this play was directed at medical personnel, and people who read the newspapers, who would be able to understand its insider jokes.
A layman would have no clue what was going on.
An M1 would still have no clue what was going on.
An M2 would recognise one professor.
An M3 would understand the going-ons of the ward.
There were mainstream spoofs, of course, such as the Bourne Identity interrogation scene.

Anyway, despite the hitches now and then, we’ve come through admirably.

Every year our batch goes into Playhouse sufficiently happy to be participating, much less thinking about winning anything. Our first and only prize won so far was Best Script in 2006, a prize that no longer exists in 2007 for some strange reason. This year, we’ve broken new ground.

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Playhouse 2007: Short Thoughts The Night Before

Tomorrow, we do what we can and hope for the best!

What’s my motivation?

– To entertain people.

– To work with an amazing bunch of folks (along with not-so-amazing folks).

– To be involved in as many events with my classmates before we go our separate ways.

– To put up a show that we can be proud of, such that we can hold our heads up high even if not everyone appreciates it.

– To do something different from the usual mug, clerk cases, examine patients routine.

To show off my acting skills, or the fact that I’m the lead actress.

To wait until the last night so I can act like a prima donna by throwing a hissy fit the night before because of the M2s causing our play to be pushed back by an hour.

If I were in charge of the M2 play, how would I really, really piss everyone off?

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Post-“SISF 2007 Performance”: Initial Thoughts

It’s finally over.

The Singapore International Salsa Festival 2007 was held on the 19-21 October 2007 at Downtown East.

Though J. was tempted to buy a full pass, he knew from last year that there would be precious little time to attend workshops with the preparation and technical runs required for a performance, so he merely spent $41 to obtain a night pass for Saturday to watch Spanish Harlem Orchestra, the Grammy award winning group.

Dance En Motion performed a unique number in the D’Marquee, with Afrocuban moves mixed with Chinese music and heavy drum beats, with a short section of salsa in between. The aim was for a unique performance, imbued with character and soul instead of just with technical salsa, and the team thought that they accomplished that aim. It was hoped that the performance would provide a breath of fresh air for the audience.

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Software: SyncToy

It’s not often that J. praises a product that’s under Microsoft. Their reputation is such that even good programs that they buy tend to end up losing out to the competition.

It is therefore a pleasant surprise that here’s a useful (and free) programme that J. can recommend unabashedly. What’s more, it was actually written by Microsoft! See, they don’t just make things like Windows Vista, useful tools are made too.


J. uses it to back up his programs. Very useful when there’s a multitude of photographs, mp3s and documents.

Playhouse 2007 – People

Playhouse 2007 is taking place on the 27 October 2007 (Saturday) at the University Cultural Centre, NUS, starting from 1500hrs and lasting for approximately 5 hours (1hour for each year).

Now, about the people. Firstly, the good.

Our scriptwriter this year is the incredible JoC, the same one who produced the script for Desperate Housemen (M4 script Playhouse 2006).

The difficulty in getting someone willing to be the M5 Playhouse rep has allowed our class leaders to really step up to the plate and demonstrate both their leadership capabilities, organisation skills and their willingness to do saigang (local slang for, erm, tough work). Many thanks go out to EkT and JaC.

Most of the rest have contributed in one form or another. One person whom I got to know better and gain a good deal of respect for was the director, RaR. Despite commitments at home and for his schoolwork, he contributed his considerable experience in drama and theatre to the class.

And now, going on to the bad…

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