Pangdemonium! kicks off its 2013 season with a poignant and powerful play about a couple who try to return to their normal lives following a tragic accident.
25 Mar 2013: The first of three planned productions by Pangdemonium! this year takes off with the 2007 Pulizer Prize-winning play, Rabbit Hole by American playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. Following a couple, Howie and Becca (played here by Adrian Pang and Janice Koh respectively), who try to rebuild their lives following the tragic loss of their four-year-old son, this is a story of guilt, anger and heartbreak – but also one that looks towards the light at the end of a seemingly endless tunnel.
‘[The play is] so beautifully written without being too mawkish and depressing,’ says director Tracie Pang, who is Adrian’s wife in real life. ‘I was aware of the play a few years ago when it was being performed in New York, but it was only a year ago that we reconsidered it as a possible piece that seemed right for Pangdemonium!. It’s a story that I wanted to tell about hope and moving on, so I hope that that’s what we show in the piece.’
As a result of the universality of the play’s themes, Pang has decided to keep its setting in New York City – where it was originally set – rather than localising it, as many Singaporean directors prefer to do. ‘Plays have a rhythm of the language that they are written in, and to re-locate a piece upsets the rhythm of the language,’ she explains. ‘If the story can still be told, understood and be relatable without re-locating a piece, then I would rather not do that disservice to the playwright and to an audience.’
When asked whether it’s been difficult working with her husband, Pang admits that as ‘[Rabbit Hole] is a very emotional piece, it’s important to try and leave some of that at the door and not bring the work home.’ However, she adds, ‘we have a great working relationship with a great deal of respect for each other – I guess we are lucky that way!’