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Literature Programmes 2018


NATIONAL THEATRE'S THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME@THE ESPLANADE
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It was a privilege to watch Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time unravel in the world of theatre. The play, with the protagonist having autism spectrum disorder, plunges himself into an adventure as he investigates the death of a dog. Through his investigation, he discovers that it was his father who murdered the dog and out of fear, he leaves for London to live with his mother. It is an eventful journey as he had to evade a policeman. He also felt extremely overwhelmed from the hustle and bustle of the subway due to his condition.

This play has taught us about the importance of empathy, and sheds light on an individual with autism spectrum disorder who can be disorientated due to difficulties in communication. Yet, at the same time, it brings about the beauty of how individuals with such disorders have unique strengths as well. In this case, the protagonist, Christopher Boone, is a brilliant individual who is able to think from unique perspectives and excels in the exams.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK, JULIUS CAESAR
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We were given the rare opportunity to catch an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Initially, Shakespeare seemed intimidating and we were expecting to be bombarded with Elizabethan English. However, we realised that Shakespeare is still pretty much relevant in this day and age. Despite its complicated plot, we were able to understand how power can corrupt individuals and how the pursuit for power can be a messy political affair.

In addition, despite our unfamiliarity with the plot, we gamely participated in the performance when they called for volunteers. It was a once in a lifetime experience as we watch the struggle for power unfold, not as an audience but from the stage itself. Finally, the staging of the play at Fort Canning Park was a unique experience as we appreciate literature come alive under the stars.