Refuge (WINNER of Hollywood Encore Producers’ Award)

pavan j singh · Ages 16+ · Singapore

Content Warning one person show
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June 27, 2023 certified reviewer

What I liked

I loved the simplicity of the set and the usage of the various props to convey specific moments in the script. I also loved that Pavan was in control of the sound, as it allowed him to create his own pace through the show. I know, as a director/actor/stage manager, that having a lot of specific sound cues can get stressful when you are trying to create the right moments on stage. I also loved the interactive moments with the audience. It also allowed us to really fall in love with the character, making it real easy to be in the moment with him when he and his family fled.

What I didn't like

The only moment I would consider adjusting is the gun shot on the ship. I feel it would have a greater impact on the audience, and even the actor, if that specific moment was controled by the stage manager. Because as an audience member, we are able to see when the actor is about to engage a sound cue, and so we’re almost anticipating the ship captain firing his pistol. But if the actor wasn’t touching his laptop and the gun shot just happened, I feel the audience, and maybe even the actor, would be affected even greater. Just my thoughts.

My overall impression

I was sincerely blown away by this show. Right from the start, I was drawn into Pavan’s script. As a performer, he is so captivating and enganging. His ability to utilize his space, his props, and his physicality to create every moment is amazing. I was truly impressed by the casualness of the dialogue and the description of each scene. I could easily see every location he was taking us into and could picture every character he described. The story itself was not only compelling, but unapologetic in its honesty and realness. His chracter is so vulnerable and dense that your heart breaks with each struggle he and his family endure. There are moments you could feel your heartbeat pause, and moments where your heart just couldn’t beat faster. The pacing of the show and the blend of action and violence with serene beauty is perfect. It’s a must see for everyone.

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