Hello, Moon-Talks is back for Volume 2, returning today with the 2 most eligible bachelors of the proletariat. The Farm Boys; Older brother Ah Seng played by Benjamin Koh and the more reserved Ah Huat played by Fadhil Daud.
What is the brighter moon for you? Ah Huat/ Fadhil Daud: The brighter moon is one filled with hope, a hope that the harsh realities of life are only temporary and will one day change for the better. And this faith propels the moon to continue radiating its soft glow. Ah Seng: A world where everyone is equal. Where there is no class divisions and everyone has equal workloads, wealth and resources. Benjamin Koh: A world where education is the key concern of humanity. Where humanity looks beyond its own needs and aims to do good for the betterment of society and the planet.
What can we hope to learn from you/your character?
Ah Huat/ Fadhil Daud: Perseverance. Determination. Being able to be playful and light-hearted in times of hardship.
Ah Seng/Benjamin Koh: I hope to present a situation where understanding your stereotypes and prejudices may make the world a better place. A fatal flaw of Ah Seng lies in his headstrong beliefs in his own assumptions about people and how he always thinks he is right without seeing the need to verify his views or trying to empathise with the other party’s point of view or emotions.
Hopefully, through my performance, people may see that hate-crimes, racism, prejudices and class-biases can be solved by simply lowering our egos and listening wholeheartedly with the intent to understand and empathise.
Could you pick one line of dialogue from Goh Poh Seng’s original script to sum up your character? Or, what is your favourite line in the play? Why?
Ah Huat/ Fadhil Daud: After all, we’re alive. And we can strive to live, strive for a better life.” What’s special about Ah Huat is that despite being the youngest member of the household, he has developed a level of maturity that surpasses even those before him. He understands the situation that he was born into, and instead of lamenting, he sets it upon himself to actively change aspects of it that he is unhappy with.
I think this line perfectly encapsulates the zest and passion that is bubbling underneath him all the time.
Ah Seng/Benjamin Koh: Who cares?” Ah Seng says this a lot, among others. This really captures his apathy towards other people and his own tunnel vision of the world.
What do you love and hate about your character? Also, what is the biggest challenge of your role?
Ah Huat/ Fadhil Daud: Biggest challenge would be drawing boundaries and finding the right balance between what the character wants and the wider social environment that bounds him. Ah Huat’s passion drives him and he is someone who would reach great heights if not for the suppressive environment that he is in. Having to juggle between these two aspects can be quite the challenge.
Ah Seng/Benjamin Koh: I love how he is exactly what I hate. And also how he is older than me. And how I tend to look older than my age. And kind of the opposite of who I think I am. An example would be that I’m not as “flamboyant” or strong-willed as he seems to be. There are (spoiler-alert) moments of indecisiveness and moral-dilemmas where I empathise with him better.
Also, where Ah Seng doesn’t really care about how his own words and actions impact others, I do my best not to offend people unintentionally. Or intentionally. When I take a joke too far.
Bottom line is I don’t want to hurt you. Or offend you. Unless I want to.
ANYWAYS, this would prove to be the biggest challenge yet. I am beginning to understand his reasoning, his ideological beliefs and where his emotions come from. However, I tend to pull back in fear as this is KIND OF against my own instincts when confronting people or clapbacks. Also, I have trouble understanding his rhythm of life and speech. I am still working on it so let’s hope for the best!
Spacing What does this play mean to you?
Ah Huat/ Fadhil Daud: The play to me is an attempt to bridge the old with the new and vice versa, to reflect the changes that have taken place over the years while at the same time respecting elements of the yesteryears that has made the theatre scene in Singapore what it is today.
Ah Seng/Benjamin Koh: This play, strangely enough, reflects our current world. Where ignorance is rampant, emotionally butt-hurt people overrun the internet, and people don’t know to join the bandwagon or to follow their own opinions. At least that is what I think.
Now for the most important question: What is your character’s ideal breakfast?
Ah Huat/ Fadhil Daud: Rich people food from the city. Probably sunny side up served on toast, with bacon and a glass of cold milk on the side. Plus lots and lots of butter, just because.
Ah Seng/Benjamin Koh: Porridge with soy sauce and salted vegetables
Doing a Moon-Talk always makes me hungry. I wonder why?