Historic landmark by day and a place of happening by night, we are sure this place needs no further introduction! It is no surprise to see couples in tuxedo and gown posing against the facade for their wedding photos as the park-goers stop in their tracks to watch and swoon (we’re sure you’re guilty of that too). No doubt, it’s a tranquil and quiet park smacked in the middle of town. But when the park comes alive at night, do they mean business!
Our team at SPACES would like to feature our beloved Fort Canning Park for its creative use of space over the years. When we picture the lawn in front of the colonial-style building, it is no longer just functions and weddings that come to mind. We remember Class 95FM Movies in the park, pop concerts and music festivals (think Big Night Out 2013, Timbre Rock & Roots).
Today, we’d like to take a look at one of its events which had just recently come to an end- Shakespeare in the Park. Singapore Repertory Theatre has held its latest show, Othello, from 24 April – 19 May 2013 following several previous productions of the past years.
The Londoners have enjoyed the show at Regents Park Open Air Theatre while the New Yorkers- no prizes for the right guess- at the Central Park, of course. Here in Singapore, we have our very own Fort Canning Park playing host to such a unique event!
What do we love about it? It’s going to be hard putting a finger on just one, so here’s three.
- The clever use of lawn space to create an outdoor concept play that marries art on stage with natural surroundings. Now who said that you can only watch plays in classic theaters and concert halls?
- Isn’t Shakespeare in the Park just the perfect setting for a picnic? Not to mention, also an absolutely legitimate excuse to pig out on the lush green grass and under the starlit night sky. We bet you can’t sneak a fruit basket and a bottle of wine into Victoria Concert Hall even if you tried! Not to worry if you don’t want to lug a picnic basket to your office in the morning, there are usually food kiosks selling packed dinner at the entrance of the park.
- With such a huge space, stage setup is taken to greater heights- literally and not. Does going alfresco translate to a less complete and a more budgeted experience? We assure you not. The following visuals can prove our point. Here’s a fun fact: Othello, the latest production, is considered the most complex of stage setups in SRT’s 6 year history of staging Shakespeare in the Park Plays.
A 360 degree stage area meant that when Hermia and Lysander escaped into the forest to elope in a Midsummer Night’s Dream, they run past/towards/away from/behind/around you. Is it a bother to have to turn your heads then? Not at all, from personal experience. If anything, it’s refreshing that a play can feel so “live” and immersive with action happening all around the park.
We hope we have gotten you to consider ditching your customary Friday Night plans the next time SRT launches a new production. Skip the movie and cancel that restaurant reservation! Do something different. Explore the things there are to do at different places. Just bring the picnic mat and the bites and you’re all set for a great night at Fort Canning Park. Don’t forget your date too!