Whether you’re a theatre junkie, a picnic lover, or Shakespeare himself, Singapore Repertory Theatre’s (SRT)’s “Shakespeare in the Park: Romeo and Juliet” is not to be missed. Catch the last iteration of our favourite Singaporean Shakespeare Spectacle before tickets run out.
Until he was about 19, Thomas wanted to be an astronaut, but his passion for acting was triumphed as he found himself skipping astronomy classes when he was attending college in the States, and became the star himself. After graduating from Laselle College of the Arts, he was involved in notable plays such as “Tribes”, working alongside with veterans like Adrian Pang.
In this special two-part series, DANAMIC.ORG were lucky enough to catch Aussie-born Malaysian actor Thomas Pang in a casual post show chat. We discussed the Bard, his intense physical regimes for playing Romeo, the local theatre and arts scene, and plans for the future. We were enchanted by the chemistry between Thomas Pang and Cheryl Tan, the stars casting the long shadows of Romeo and Juliet. Expect some really steamy physical action in some scenes that made us whistle. Our beloved “star-crossed lovers” have never been framed better.
DNM: What were some of the challenges you faced while playing Romeo?
Thomas: Running, lots of running (laughs). I mean you basically just have to exercise and prepare yourself for a show like you would for a race. I think I essentially run about 5km every night and I burn about double the calories because there is a lot of emotion and screaming and crying.
Every bad person has some good in them and every good person has some bad in them. That’s essentially what his plays are about. There are very few completely evil characters…
How do you think Shakespeare’s works are still so well-received in Singapore?
I think it’s because Singapore uses a lot of English. It’s important to understand where the language comes from even though it’s not part of the culture. So I think his works are a really good way to appreciate the language, the theatre and stage-craft because there’s so much richness in doing theatre.
…it is also kind of the same because Shakespeare is used in modern English. So it’s interesting in that sense to see what we borrow from him and what he’s contributed for us.
Was it difficult to bring out the Shakespearean language clearly in Romeo and Juliet?
I think so but I think I’m used to it. I mean I’ve been doing Shakespeare for a while. I think every time I do it, it is so different from how we normally speak. But yet, it is also kind of the same because Shakespeare is used in modern English. So it’s interesting in that sense to see what we borrow from him and what he’s contributed for us.
What are the values you learnt from Shakespeare?
Every bad person has some good in them and every good person has some bad in them. That’s essentially what his plays are about. There are very few completely evil characters and even the completely evil characters, like Aaron from Titus Andronicus has some good in him. He has a child he wants to fight for and kill for. He’s the most evil person Shakespeare has ever written but he’s still a good person because he cares about something. So everyone cares about something regardless of evil or good.
What is in store after SITP?
I’m going to Penang to do some research for a play I’m writing. Hopefully I’ll be directing that as well.
We’re looking forward to seeing it on the stage, Thomas!
Check out more from our Romeo here: