A weekend of drama, imprisonment and mental stimulation

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Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

Thank you Manila for providing a variety of pursuits last weekend to stimulate the mind.

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The prelude to the weekend was the monthly first Thursday Quiz Night at Amici which went on at the same time as Geekfight at Ludo—a resto-bar catering to lovers of board games.

On Friday night, I caught the last show of Coriolanus at Greenbelt 3. Coriolanus is a Shakespeare tragedy, though probably not one of the more popular ones. It is based on the life of Roman General Gaius Marcius Coriolanus—whose career began around 493 BC. The first time I heard about it was when a film version came out in 2011 with Ralph Fiennes in the title role.

This one is a screening of a “National Theater Live” broadcast of the Donmar Warehouse’s January 2014 production with Tom Hiddleston (Loki) as Coriolanus and Mark Gatiss as Menenius. Of course the “Hiddles” fan girls were in attendance the two days this screened.

Unfortunately, the seats were cushy, it was 10 p.m., I had just driven through the usual horrendous traffic, the A/C was cold and my friend lent me her oversized hoodie, which became my blanket. I fell asleep!

Though I wasn’t the only one, some of my seatmates were sleeping too.

The stage was bare and the costumes very understated. I guess the power of a live performance dwindles when it’s trapped in a digital file. Either that or I should have watched in the morning, after a good cup of coffee.

Coriolanus came with a few behind the scenes nuggets and an intermission, during which I was oddly enough awake.

On Saturday, I returned to Breakout Manila for another escape room game. It’s such good fun—especially if you go with a breakout gang with a sense of humor. We like doing this sort of thing in costume.

If the Breakout folks bring the theater and the puzzles, we should certainly bring the motley cast for their scenarios. Currently their scenarios include Adarna’s Lair (related to their zombie run, Outbreak Manila), the jail room and a horror motel room, with a fourth room on its way.

Sunday wrapped up with Upstart Soundstage’s dramatic reading of Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangerouses (based on the 1782 book by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos). The reading was directed by Bobby Garcia and featured Pinky Amador as the Marquise de Merteuil, and Art Acuna as the Vicomte de Valmont. Supported bye Carla Guevara Laforteza, Jamie Wilson and Gold Soon among others.

This was the seventh and last play in their run—they held the readings every other Sunday. Here’s to hoping there’s a next season.

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