15 September 2010

Private Eyes | รัก (ทะ) ลวงตา

Private Eyes, adapted for Thai theatre-goers from the original script by Steven Dietz, had its premiere yesterday. The translator and director, Pawit Mahasarinand, also took a role in the play, which aims to make the viewers confused and question the thin line between fiction and reality. Not only does the main actors, Nophand Boonyai and Dujdao Vadhanapakorn, retain their real names throughout the play, the situation is made more complex with them playing the roles of actors. In a sense, this play can be labelled 'metafiction', as it's a work of art that discusses its own fictive status, something that is not totally unheard of in the theatre scene. However, the cast of only five characters does bring freshness to this postmodern structure with the same characters taking different functions in different layers of Chinese-box reality.

Love figures prominently, as the whole play deals with the issues of trust and faith. Scenarios are repeated, though not with precision, only to be revealed later as possibilities in dreams, instigated by either fear or desire. However, even though the play is complex, its complexity is not there just to mesmerize the viewers, but indeed to portray the increasingly distorted mind of a man who believes that his lover has an affair with a director.

Nothing can be trusted in this play, as it revels in its own self-reflexivity and fictive status. Even the psychoanalyst, who is supposed to be a reliable voice of sanity giving 'objective' comments to the viewers, somehow cannot be trusted. What we have left here is our own attempt at understanding and our little faith, faith that what we're watching tells us something about life, even though we know only too well that the writer has a lot up his sleeves. Perhaps towards the end we are merged with the actor, whose last words are simply 'don't fool me' ...

More details of the play can be found here.