Directed by Mohamad Shaifulbahri, Bhumi Collective presents Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe.
What lengths would we go to for the ones we love? How do you convince someone that life is worth living for? How optimistic does one remain in the face of adversity? Every Brilliant Thing explores the gamut of emotions and feelings that comes with the struggles of living with and caring for a mother who has depression and suicidal tendencies.
We're excited to speak to Andrew Marko, recently nominated for Best Actor for the M1-The Straits Times Life Theatre Awards, who is taking the lead role in this solo show. (Did you see his dramatic reading of One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful?)
1. How do you think the audience's participation would impact your performance? Share with us some preparations an actor can do for a play that is dependent on the audience's participation.
The audience participation will definitely make every show different and exciting. It will mean that, essentially, anything can happen. I guess the one thing that I have to be prepared for is to improvise. I will need to be able to think on my feet and steer the audience member back towards a certain direction should they stray. Doing stand-up comedy for me is great practice because it trains me to interact with an unpredictable group of people.
2. What do you make of the 'British humour' in the original playscript? Will there be any adaptation to localise the context?
I reckon there will definitely have to be adaptations to localize certain references. But to me, comedy is comedy. Doesn't matter where it's from.
3. How do you as the actor approach the topic of mental illness which is central to the play, in the context of the play?
With utmost respect, research and sensitivity. As with all plays on mental illnesses, the idea here is to present a story on the topic in the hopes of shedding some light on the struggles that these people (or in this case, their caretakers) have to go through and how their lives are affected because of it.
4. Does the team feel an increasing need to put this topic on the table?
I think there's always a need to put this topic on the table. There are many topics that deserve to be talked about and will continue to be talked about as long as society is empathetic towards them. The world has enough plays and musicals about love.
Andrew is just an ordinary guy who has been lucky enough to be able to pursue his love for performing. On top of acting, Andrew also writes, cooks, sings at bars with his band, Van Milos, and does stand-up comedy. He is also a final year sociology student at NUS. Andrew was seen at TEDxNUS where he showcased his spoken word poetry and his short play, Doctor! Doctor?
Theatre credits include: Electra (Cake Theatre), State of Mind (Playground Entertainment), Falling, RENT (Pangdemonium), The Emperor’s New Clothes (W!ld Rice), Bunny Finds the Right Stuff (Esplanade Playtime), Lord Of The Flies (SRT), Off Centre, All This Intimacy (Yellow Chair Productions)
Venue: Centre 42 Black Box
Date: 18 – 23 Apr 2017, Tue – Sun
Time: 8:00pm (Tue – Sun) | 3:00pm (Tue, Fri – Sun)
Ticket price: $35 (General), $30 (Student/NSF), $15 (Previews)
Event page: http://artsrepublic.sg/events/2017/04/every-brilliant-thing