Irene Ang’s V Conference is a rare satirical performance that is uniquely Singaporean. I am delighted to be able to catch her third installment “The Extraordinary V Conference” on its opening night. How often do you get a show where politicians and celebrities are cleverly impersonated to a hilarious effect, not so much to make a fool out of them, but to offer a different perspective to otherwise straightforward issues that we read about in the news?
Irene Ang is quick-witted yet naturally accessible, which made her stand-up engaging because it is easy to connect with her.
Credit goes to the cast whose commitment to their roles were not compromised by the intense quick-changes throughout the show. From Pussycat Dolls to nyonyas to famous politicians, the multi-ethnic, multi-racial caricatures of Singapore were not left out too.
While the boundaries were pushed rather boldly in segments with the ambassador for Pro-family campaign and the Malaysia-Singapore face-off, the rest were danced through and parodies involving local celebrities were dealt with caution.
For instance, the Little Nyonya segment was not the least bit offensive and I was expecting something more biting, to the effect of how perhaps rape is an over-used tactic to tug at heartstrings, and perhaps (gasp!), the reason why I won Best Actress! Possibly the worst thing I heard that night was referring me one of “the nyonya sluts”, but that wasn’t anything I would gripe about.
The face-off between the Ah Jies began with a verbal cat-fight that threw some good punches, but that was short-lived and fizzled out with a convenient happy ending that seemed a little too politically correct.
And we all know Patricia Mok loves LV. But we also know there’s more drama to her than just having to have the latest LV bag from the latest glitzy Ion shop. So while I enjoyed the improvised rendition of “Nobody” by Wondergirls that came out of this, it was just the usual fare seasoned with a bit more song and dance.
The Extraordinary V Conference is like the funny mirrors you get in the amusement parks. You come face to face with the less than perfect side of yourself, some might laugh over it, others would just walk away disgusted at the reflection, but you’ll never go to the operator and demand for them to remove the mirrors or make them alter your reflection. If any offense is taken by those whose personalities were showcased, I would say “chill-lax”, it’s all done in the name of fun and humour.
Let’s just all have a good laugh at ourselves, if applicable.
The Extraordinary V Conference (R18) is playing from now until Sept 13, 8pm at ZIRCA (Block 3C, The Cannery, Clarke Quay). Tickets are available from SISTIC counters. Call 6348-5555 or book online at http://www.sistic.com.sg.