Phantom in Manila + Battalia Royale

Ok, I know this is supposed to be mostly a crafty blog, but I can’t help but be excited about the two shows I’ll be watching soon: Phantom of the Opera (it’s an international touring cast) and Battalia Royale. (But theater is a craft too, isn’t it? So it’s not that far off topic).

First off, I already watched Phantom of the Opera during the Gala night (scored some free tickets c/o my dad’s office). It was ah-mazing. Astounding. Incredible. The cast was absolutely fantastic. I bought a ticket for the Oct6 show and I may be watching on the Sept25 show too. Depends. It’s expensive, but I’m able to justify it to myself. I think. I’m not much of a spender, anyway, but when it comes to experiences like this. I’m willing to shell out the money.

Battalia Royale, I am even more excited for, if that’s even possible. We have tickets for this Saturday. I wasn’t able to watch it during their first two runs, but ever since I heard about it during their second run, I knew I had to watch it if it came back. It’s based on the Japanese novel, turned movie, Battle Royale, and the way the group Sipat Lawin set everything up is amazing. If you’re not familiar with Battle Royale, imagine Hunger Games, but darker–and it came first. It’s totally different from POTO, it’s not the typical mainstream theater, and it definitely captured my imagination. The characters had their own Facebook pages and have been active on them these past two months. Announcements about show dates, venue, and ticket buying have been all over social media. They don’t use a stage or a theater, instead do it street play style, with several scenes ongoing simultaneously.  Their first run was held in the CCP open grounds, which was basically a huge lawn; the second run in an abandoned school; this run will be in Museo Pambata, a children’s museum in Manila. I can’t wait to see how they’ll incorporate the venue into the action. Battalia is proof of innovation in theater, how you don’t need huge amounts of money to stage a great play, how a persistent group of actors and playwrights can make this amazing and unconventional play work and fire up the imaginations of those who watch. I know this play’s going to get messy (from the fake blood), it’s going to get tiring (from running around, following the action), and it’s going to be soooo exciting.


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