Caught in a bad show

“I feel violated!”

That was my companion’s reaction during the intermission of Caught in the Middle IV.

So the question is: was the play that bad?

The whole problem with the show was that it was not so much a play as a hasty stitching together of various skits that probably would have done fine as individual shorts.

Which is a pity considering the show isn’t wanting at all for talent.  Mano Maniam and Sandra Sodhy, as always, are an education for any actor just watching them on stage. They’re ably supported by Zaibo and Chew Kin Wah, Nell Ng, Nicole Ann Thomas and a host of lovable extras.

But all the talent in the world cannot save a play that tries to say too much by having the actors talk too much and then intersperse all that dialogue with situations that are surreal and unfortunately, not that funny.

Take for instance one particular Middle Eastern character taking his 11-year-old wife to the hospital. I didn’t feel it as much funny as offensive for the sake of being offensive.

After the first 15 minutes, I was trying to justify, in my mind, the cost of RM70 to watch this. Put it this way – when the first hour before intermission feels like two hours, something isn’t working. The script was not ready for the stage and clearly was a waste of the luminous talents that deserve better than cobbled together lines. Self-indulgence was written all over CITM IV’s script and sadly lets down not just the audience with its pomposity but its stellar cast.

Recommended only if you would like to leave a play feeling homicidal or brain-dead.