This was a review of Her Son, Jose Rizal performed by a local Filipino community theatre group. This piece went through a lot of revision, but it didn’t quite suit the publication I was aiming for.
The sold-out gala performance of Her Son, Jose Rizal, written by renowned Filipino artist Leonor Orosa-Goquingco, was an extravaganza of music, colour and emotion. Goquingcos one-act play is a brief but powerful look at key moments in the life of Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ most celebrated patriot. Four scenes are linked by soliloquies of an older Rizal (Manny Diel) in prison and show various stages of Rizal’s life as a boy (Elijah Merjudio) and a young man (RJ Rosales).
A sense of expectation hung in the air as the lights dimmed at the Tom Mann Theatre in Surry Hills. Diel opened the play from one corner of the stage, an anguished Rizal on the brink of martyrdom. Although director Armando Reyes seemed heavy-handed with these speeches, the spectre of Rizal’s prison cell, ever present downstage, remained a deliciously foreboding presence. Continue reading