The Clean House @ Circa Theatre (12th June 2009)

Caught up with Claus for dinner and to see a play at the Circa Theatre this evening. He mentioned about going to a play last night but I was busy getting dressed up for the XT Launch Party and just told him to 'surprise me'. Well, it indeed was a surprise since we had 2 other friends, Octavien and Jackie, join us for dinner and the play (I didn't mind the company - the more, the merrier). Plus, this was my first time to Circa Theatre. I know, I know - how could I have not been to this theatre when I'm into artsy stuff? There's always a first!

Me and the boys met up with Jackie for a quick dinner at Thai Express on Cuba Mall then headed over to Circa Theatre to see The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl. "This is what we're going to see tonight," said Claus as we walked over from his office to dinner, waving the promotional leaflet at me. As per the leaflet, The Clean House is an award-wining, romantic comedy about a surgeon who cannot convince her whimsical Brazilian maid to clean her house. I've read the review of the show earlier this week and it mentioned that one of the cast members spent some time with Wellington-based Brazilians to learn their English accent and flamboyant behaviours for her role as a Brazilian maid. That's just AWESOME!! SO looking forward to see the play :) It was a preview show i.e. pre-opening show and cost us $20 each for a general admission ticket. The theatre itself reminded me of BATS theatre - very intimate i.e. the audience sat right up to the stage but in a much bigger room than in BATS.

The play was 2 hours long including a 15 minute interval. I highly recommend that you see it if you haven't! None of us expected the play to be SO amazing - it was funny yet heart-warming, presented so cleverly in the small stage with many props, sliding doors, music, lighting and a projector screen. Erin Banks, who played the Brazilian maid, Matilde, was fabulous - she did an amazing job bringing out the Latina flair in her act, speaking in Portuguese at times and spoke English with an accent. I was amazed at her ability to remember the words and tell jokes in Portuguese, even though I doubt any of the crowd understood what it meant but just watching her wicked eyes and cheeky smile, it made the audience laugh. We asked Claus during the interval to translate the joke Matilde told us at the start of the play and we all laughed when he said he couldn't really understand the Portuguese either! Hahaha!!

The story was about 5 main characters: Matilde - a young Brazilian lady who hates to clean, often reminiscing her dead parents and dreaming up the perfect joke; Lane - Matilde's successful surgeon boss who just wants her house cleaned; Virginia - Lane's slightly depressed sister who just couldn't stop cleaning and even came up with a secret arrangement with Matilde to clean her sister's house; Charles - Lane's husband who falls so deeply in love with one of his patients; and Ana - a free-spirited and dying Argentinian woman who was Charles' new love. I couldn't quite figure out how Virginia did that T-shirt fold - she just nipped two ends of the T-shirt and vuala! All nicely folded, like what you see in display stores!! A very beautiful play that will make you laugh so much yet touch you deeply as you watch the passion between Alan Lovell and Jane Waddell who also played Matilde's very in love imaginary parents. Thanks Claus for this 'surprise'! I LOVED it ;)


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