A good suspense thriller let viewers know who the bad guys are in advance, it’s my first grip of the play. It is where the audience spends the rest of the play on the edge of their seat wondering who will succeed: the evil doer or the innocent victim? In “Wait Until Dark,” three con-men have manipulated a blind woman. They want the mystical contents concealed in a mysterious doll, which they are willing to do whatever is necessary just to recover it – even murder.
“Wait Until Dark” is a thriller written by Frederick Knott and a classic 1967 Audrey Hepburn film which earned her a Tony Award nomination for best actress in a play. Movie trailer below courtesy of Gabtor Apple.
It is Repertory Philippines’ opening season for 2014. Liesl Batucan plays the lead role of Susy Henderson. She’s the blind protagonist who’s lucky to have heightened senses that gained her an advantage against the criminals. As seen at the climatic final act, she’s able to shut off all the lights in her apartment when the con-men broke in.
Rounding up the cast are Arnel Carrion as Harry Roat, Jr., Joel Trinidad as Mike Talman (the criminal with a good heart as we say), Robbie Guevara as Croker, Lorenz Martinez as Sam Henderson and Dani Gana as Gloria. Directed by theater veteran Miguel Faustmann, assisted by Toff de Venecia and lighting designed by John Batalla.
“I’m very proud of the cast. An emergency in 6 days, Arnel Carrion played the role of Roat and Loy Martinez for the role of Sam replacing Jamie Wilson who’s unable to perform because of a broken kneecap. They shuffled roles so the show must go on. I’m just so proud of them,” opens director Miguel Faustmann in the post performance conference at Onstage, Greenbelt 1.
Everything you needed to know about teamwork were represented distinctly from this production masterpiece. Actors’ relentless passion of their craft, collective dramatic expression and solid chemistry, as they give a significant role to our entertainment landscape makes “Wait Until Dark” a great production.
There are clear viewpoints of both the protagonist and antagonist in the story. The storytelling involves the audience seeing the trouble first before Susy does. We’ve seen the consequences of the dangers ahead placing ambient emotions and fears for her. The key to any story is the conception of a great heroine where Liesl shines bright portraying the lead role, her own version of Suzy.
How did Susy exactly battle the villains or how did she portray the role effectively?
“I’m so blessed to have such a great ensemble, a great director who guided me all through process and generous fellow actors who helped me out with the Repertory Philippines. “With regards to preparations in portraying a blind woman, there were certain things I considered. First of all was the onset of her blindness. Someone who went blind from a car crash is different from someone who is born blind. This would mean I would have a context, a visual ‘grip’ of how the world looks like. The challenge would be [for my character] to have reference points. I used the furniture, I used the walls, just to keep me grounded and to anchor me like a compass to know where I am. Second, I tried to feel what it would be like to be blind from the inside, the internal. What would she feel like. What would her world be. With the sense of sight gone, all the other senses would be sharper. She would rely more on hearing and touch. My instincts became sharper, my senses more finely tuned. Then of course there’s the research on the physicality. Miguel always reminded me that my eyes are now my ears. The cast also helped me out, I love everyone from the cast,” revealed Liesl Batucan as she’s been thankful for a great and incredible long journey with the cast of “Wait Until Dark.”
Also, Roat played by Arnel Carrion serves a really good villain. This bad guy is visible, smart and motivated which created a striking hook and a worthy opponent that kept us waiting for the heart slamming ending. “Originally I was playing Sam, Susy’s husband. Last Thursday, Jamie Wilson injured himself during that last scene and had to get an operation for his knee. Friday, Miguel decided I was to play Roat. I wasn’t familiar with the lines of Roat at all. Friday, I started memorizing his lines and I gave myself ’till Sunday. It’s fun because there are 4 parts: the first scene, the old Roat, the young Roat and the last scene. I had to memorize the last scene first because we had to do technicals with the lights and I couldn’t be holding the script because the light was really really dark. This is basically 6 days worth to put it all together,” narrates Arnel who still can’t believe portraying the gangster Roat.
Daniella Gana, who recently played as the lead role in Repertory Philippines’ children’s musical “Alice In Wonderland,” personified Gloria. “It’s my first straight play. This is quite difficult switching from upbeat musicals to a more subdued serious tone. I had so much fun under Tito Miguel because he had so many new things that allowed me to discover and he really helped me make Gloria, Gloria,” conveys Dani delightfully.
It’s not really easy taking pictures during the play because of the dim light and while you’re into the story. It is the darkness where we perceived the world of Susy’s blindness through her senses. Real pitch black. Yet, “Wait Until Dark” is a good thriller showcasing its own intense excitement providing viewers’ tension and anticipation of things to come. Adding to the suspense and mystery was the music by Jetro Joaquin, along with its light design in creating shadows and mirrors from antagonist’s point of view. More photos HERE.
You can still catch and support “Wait Until Dark” on the following dates:
31 Jan 2014 @ 8pm
01 Feb 2014 @ 330pm
01 Feb 2014 @ 8pm
02 Feb 2014 @ 330pm
07 Feb 2014 @ 8pm
08 Feb 2014 @ 330pm
08 Feb 2014 @ 8pm
Gold P 625.20
Silver P 521
Bronze P 416.80
For other inquiries you may call Repertory Philippines at 571-6926 and 571-4941, or e-mail them firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website at www.repertoryphilippines.com. Tickets are available through Ticketworld at 891-9999, or via http://www.ticketworld.com.ph/ http://bit.ly/1hitxfI
Enjoys capturing, editing, and sharing content across social media platforms alongside music photography. The birth of this blog is a testament of my credence on the power of images in conveying stories.