Singlish or Chinglish?

by Dominic Teo
October 4, 2015 by Dominic Teo

Singlish or Chinglish?

Audrey Luo is a 32 year old actress who is definitely beautiful by all standards yet ironically, she has achieved both popular and critical acclaim by portraying women in their 50s! For those who am be unfamiliar with her, here’s a description of this mesmerising actress who will be starring in Pangdemonium’s upcoming production of Chinglish! “Ok I’ll try my best. I’m crazily in love with performing and this year, I was lucky enough to realise two of my dreams by playing the titular role in Titoudao (Toy Factory) as well as starred in my debut feature film as Mrs Wong in Our Sister Mambo. Chinglish is my first production with Pangdemonium and I am really excited and grateful to Tracie for giving me this opportunity to learn and work with everyone!”

Audrey Luo of Chinglish

Audrey Luo of Pangdemonium’s upcoming production, Chinglish!

Chinglish is an upcoming production by one of our favourite theatre house, Pangdemonium, where an American businessman (played by veteran, Daniel Jenkins) travels to China and finds out that more than words get lost in translation. Chinglish is a ‘wildly funny comedy of errors and a cunningly astute comedy of manners that pokes fun at the West’s frenzied flirtation with China’ that is augmented by Adrian Pang, Oon Shu An, Guo Liang and of course, Audrey Luo! This brand of comedy has been on the rise recently with films such as American Dreams in China and Lost in Thailand being a huge hit in both mainland China and the international film circuits. I can’t wait to see how some of the best creative minds in Singapore can bring a new spin onto this brand of comedy.

Interestingly, besides being an actress on Chinglish, she also serves as the cast’s accent and language coach. As their coach, she is the person most familiar with their struggle in a language that they’re not particularly familiar with whether it’s English or Mandarin. As to who had the biggest struggle and who was the most comfortable, this is her answer. “Can I say none? Hahaha…ok maybe Shu An is slightly more comfortable conversing? Adrian has a little bit of struggle initially but now I can feel that he is enjoying delivering his lines as his character which is heartening to see!”  In the end, the standard in which they want to achieve is simply to “make them not sound Singaporean at the end of the day, haha!” For a person who has mastered numerous other accents, what then becomes their natural or go-to one? “For me, Singlish comes out naturally on a day-to-day speech! Haha…proud to be a true blue Singaporean!”

Guo Liang Chinglish

Mediacorp Artiste, Guo Liang who will part of Chinglish as well!

What lends this comedy its comedic moments is “the interaction between two different languages [that] led to miscommunication or mis-translation.” However, perhaps not every interaction has to be with the use of language and words, “in real life, I feel that it doesn’t matter what methods you use, language or accent barrier can be overcomed so long as an idea is transmitted across effectively and fully understood between two parties.” With that in mind, it’ll be great to see just how exactly will the language barrier be overcome as well as the obvious cultural differences between the two societies!

The best part of the comedy is exactly the same as what Audrey enjoys most in their rehearsals, “I really enjoy rehearsing my scenes with everyone because the mis-translation and miscommunication are pretty real during the initial stage. The blur and confused looks on each other’s face can get rather hilarious!”

This is definitely a comedy born of the 21st century, of globalization and of the rise of China. Chinglish will be running from Oct 9 – 25 at the Drama Centre Theatre and tickets are already selling fast! Get your tickets now before it’s too late!

All Images Courtesy of Pangdemonium!


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