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KC 85th Anniversary – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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To mark 85 years of heritage, Katong Convent drew upon her long tradition of literature, drama, and Shakespeare to stage William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, recalling the many Shakespeare productions ex-Principal, Mrs Mary Bong staged and directed in the 1970s and 1980s. It was both a birthday celebration and homecoming of sorts, and the school, with the alumni, came joyously together to make this event a success. It was a midsummer night’s dream, (albeit held in November), and to honour the magic and transformative power of Shakespeare’s words, the Geylang Bahru school hall was transformed into a forest wonderland. Vines garlanded the shutters, fairylights twinkled, and royal banners of yellow and red satin unfurled down the climbing truss. A farmers’ market, ran by the alumni to raise funds and audience picnickers on straw mats completed the atmosphere.

Under Alumni Tan Liting’s (Class of 2003) astute direction, the forest of Athens, into which the four lovers ran, was envisioned as a sinister circus: the glamour and lure of circus freedom revealed to be nothing but tawdry imprisonment, the lovers escaping from one state of repression to another. Alumni Alexandra Choong (Class of 2001) added to the circus air of the forest with her breath-taking aerial hoop performance; ethereal and graceful with tricks to take one’s breath away, Alexandra’s hoop act was truly a magical moment that led the audience and the lovers, from Athens into forest. Yet what made this show truly magical was how the school band, dancers, choir, and eight actors from the Drama Elective Programme took what many perceive to be a dry, and wordy text, and brought it to life.

The band opened the show with the grandeur and pomp of the Athenian court. The dancers thrilled as Titania’s eerie fairy entourage. The choir held the audience spell-bound with their lilting fairy lullabies. The actors brought into realisation, the meaning and humour of Shakespeare’s words. And the crew added the finishing touch as scurrying circus hands, changing the set from Athens to the forest and back again.

It was a night to remember, not only because of an enchanting performance filled with dance and music, but because each and every performer and crew, found in themselves the magic that allows them to keep going and giving of their best, past exhaustion and limitations such that they become KC girls who excel.