God of Carnage (originally Le Dieu Du Carnage), a French play debuted in Zurich way back in 2006. It has since been adapted into English, playing at London and New York. In 2009, the play was given the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, and won Best Play at the 2009 Tony Awards.
And it’s now playing in Malaysia. For more details, go to PJ Live Arts.
In a nutshell
What brought the four characters together is the incident of an 11-year-old boy, Benjamin, has hit another boy, Henry, in the face with a stick at a playground. Alain and Annette, Benjamin’s parents, played by Will Quah and Lina Teoh, are visiting the apartment of Michael and Veronica, the victim’s parents, played by Megat Sharizal and Maya Tan Abdullah, to work out a way in which an apology might be made.
It all seemed fine and dandy at first, until the discussion delved into issues such as politics, work, money, and humanity among the four of them.
What I liked
The cast. I think they did a great job. I especially liked Maya and Megat. Megat…was….HILARIOUS and was such a natural too 🙂 (I saw on youtube the original actor who played Michael, he wasn’t as funny) I had the most fun watching Megat, especially when he started letting loose. He did look like a boring character at the begining, but like they all say, never judge a book by its cover. In fact, all characters turned out to be what they weren’t , except maybe for the cynical Alain and the idealist Veronica.
Lina Teoh’s voice projection. I thought she did it very well. I don’t know, but I personally find it a very difficult skill to acquire. Maybe I just don’t have it haha And my, does she vomit ever so skillfully! LOL My bro enjoyed the ‘tau fu fa’ because he was seated right at the front! 😀
Alain’s handphone – the phone with a attitude! I like its character haha It also set a kind of anticipation whenever it rang, especially when the conversation went from Alain and his assistant to Veronica and Annette.
Definitely the conversations. Laugh we did, yes. But was it only because they were funny or also because they were true and we could relate to what they said, especially about parenting, marriage, politics, work, ‘murder’, and relationships?
My take away message
There were other serious issues being discussed in all that puke-y mess, chair/bag-hurling havoc and hamster-killer argument, but what appealed to me most that night, was what Annette said; her rather, last minute epiphany, ‘There is wrong on both sides’. I was just saying this to my colleague that afternoon. It takes two hands to clap; there’s no way a conflict can arise with just one party being on the wrong. As you can see in this play, everyone is playing the blame game, and there was no end to it. They didn’t even solve the problem, not even come to a conclusion.
We’re always too caught up in wanting to be right, wanting to look righteous, wanting to be heard, but not wanting to take up responsibilty for own doings and not wanting to care about others. Nobody gives a ‘rat’s ass’ about what the other says or thinks. In other words, selfish-lah…
It also made me realise, that we adults still have those childish emotions in us, don’t you think? 😉 It was fun seeing celebrities like Lina Teoh and Will Quah behaving like kids haha What an adorable couple on stage! 🙂
What I didn’t quite like…
The ending. Felt ‘hanging’ because nothing was decided. So the ending didn’t feel like an ending to me.
Would it be funnier had it been adapted to a Malaysian setting, with our local accent and slang? Hmmm…
And why so much emphasis on the clafouti? Any implications? Hmmmm….
My verdict? 7/10
If you haven’t seen this play, a word of advice: DON’T SIT AT THE FRONT 🙂
THANKS PJLA FOR THE FREE TICKETS!