26 February 2011 marked the first variety show I’ve been to in Manchester. MUCSS, known as the University of Manchester Chinese Students Society had the VShow Poker Face in RNCM Theatre.
I’ve been wondering how RNCM looks like from within. The Royal Northern College of Music seemed so magical from outside, the big posters of violins, grand pianos, harps, clarinets and those glass windows…as though the secrets of music lies within those four walls.
When we entered the main door, there were many elderly people inside the main hall. They were all sipping coffee, eating croissants – it smelt buttery and cheesy which made me even hungrier than I was in the first place.
Picture grabbed from Google: here
We thought we entered the wrong place, but we decided to walk to where there were a lot of Asian looking people. After all, it was hosted by the chinese society. The theatre was on the far right from the main door. £9 per entry was a bit pricey for people like me, who decided against going to the after party at Circle Club. We bumped into a lot of familiar faces there: Pei Hau, Yit Lin, Joel, Hosanna, Yeong Chyn, Wen Zhe Marschenka, even two of my PASS members: Frankie and Tan Wei (something). I’m really terrible with names.
So, the show started with the emcee welcoming the audience for to the MUCSS VShow 2001 and no it’s not a typo. I couldn’t help but grin at the China / HongKong / ShangHai accent. It’s amusing…
This was the emcee (in white) talking to the band conductor. The band was performing below the stage, which was a real pity because they were really great 😀
The show opened with a performance of Crunk which is short for Crazy and Drunk. There were four girls and one guy. The whole four minutes or so, the dance was overemphasised on the four girls trying to get a guy. Or the three girls trying to lure the guy from that girl. Something of that sort.
They are awesome dancers, no doubt, on the way they manage to pop and lock, but I felt that it’s too weird to be doing that on stage. or anywhere. It’s the kind of dance you see when girls gone wild lol.
Later when the show ended, the emcee had a talk with the guy . When the guy said he (and a friend) choreographed the dance itself, the emcee asked if it was inspired by his fantasies. LOL. No kidding.
Next up, The Mocking Bird from London came to perform. Acappella is the new trend, sure is. They sang a variety of top hits songs by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera…
Lady Gaga songs eg Poker Face, Bad Romance etc..
Voice Within by Christina Aguilera
Look at how they start to link shoulders one by one which made us giggle.
Here, they were promoting some show in London…
The show itself:
After moving into Laydenham town, Roger Taylor, the Chief Police, and his son, Cole, have immediately found themselves to be the most talk-about subject. Unfazed by the power of the landlord, Morgan Kingston, Roger makes himself popular within the town. In school, Cole’s aloof presence makes him difficult to approach. Traumatised by his past, Cole seeks a way out to his life…
Note: This is my interpretation of the story and may deviate from the storyline itself.
The show started rather morbidly with a coffin carried across the stage. Inside was Cole Taylor (played by Vincent Wong)’s mother. Roger Taylor (played by Geoff Wu), Cole’s father, was keeping a secret about the death of his wife. Cole was frustrated with his father for avoiding the truth. They packed and move to Laydenham town, where the setting of the whole story was.
The town was filled with secrets, lies and mysteries that unfolded slowly as the story began.
In that town there was a mean landlord who raised the price of land. Morgan Kingston (played by Zhuolun Yao) went to the market to claim the ‘debts’ of the town. But the people living in the town could not pay because business was running slow. And they started singing all of a sudden, like Glee the musical series. Which made the show more entertaining than it was.
Morgan the mean landlord, had a daughter, Joanna Kingston (played by Nicole Cheung) who was best friends with Betty Fisher (played by Isabella Leung). Joanna was shy and ladylike while Betty was very upbeat, lively and carefree . Both of them were in the same school Cole was just transferred into. Joanna and Cole had a crush on each other, and after a nudge from Betty, both of them decided to go on a date.
You’re the One that I Want sung by Isabella Leung
There were some issues at the police station. Secrets, lies and mysteries.. I don’t remember what was the chronological of the story. The chief police was killed by Mark Lawrence (played by Elliot Hwang) who obeyed Morgan orders. Betty accidentally oversaw the whole incident and in the effort to silence her, Betty was choked to death by Mark.
Act 1 closed as Betty lied dead in the streets. The audience laughed as Joanna ‘rose from the dead’ after lights went out.
Act 2 continued with the funeral of Betty…
Cole eventually found out about the truth of his mother death. I’m not too sure about this part… His mother was in jail? Or killed herself? I forgot the chronological of the story (again) but Morgan paid a large sum of cash to Mark to kill the Chief Police, Roger’s father. And he did.
So anyway, the lovebirds, Joanna and Cole, went on their date. And they found Roger’s dead body in the streets. Morgan came out and quickly consoled his daughter…
[ I totally forgot this part, which was pity because it was the penultimate part; =( ]
The show ended with Joanna’s birthday party. Happy endings!!
Credits to everyone!
Picture below was taken after the event when friends stood in cliques and talk before parting their own ways. Oh we had free drinks during the fifteen minutes break between act 1 and act 2! Yummy-licious apple juice 🙂
The show was a real success, many thanks to the combined efforts of front-stage and backstage members. Congratulations everyone 🙂