Antaeus Diary: Dakin Matthews on the Bridge Project: Singapore

Antaeus Diaries provide unique perspectives on Classical Theater from the Antaean point of view as veterans and newbies alike detail their experiences in their own voices. In this installment, Antaeus Company Founding Artistic Director Dakin Matthews shares his experience working on The Bridge Project, a three year partnership between The Old Vic, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Neal Street Productions. Academy Award-winner Sam Mendes directos this comany of British and American actors in THE WINTER’S TALE and THE CHERRY ORCHARD.

The Bridge Project Diary: 2nd Installment
Matthews has just closed THE BRIDGE PROJECT at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). On March 23rd the company landed in the second city on their world, Singapore, from which he writes:

We arrived in Singapore early Monday morning (4 AM), the 23rd of March, after having left LAX on Saturday afternoon at about 3PM.  So, twenty five hours in transit.  Jet lag has taken two days to wear off.  Both of us feel relatively normal for the first time this morning (Thursday).  Which is good, because it’s opening night for The Winter’s Tale–the only show we’re performing in Singapore.

They’ve put us up at a fashionable 75 story hotel in the tourist district, where our cocktail meet and greet was on the helipad; and we’ve done a little exploring around the neighborhood, which so far seems to be miles of underground, interconnected, upscale labyrinthine malls.  I can actually walk to the theatre from the hotel and never see daylight, though I do see a lot of Calvin Klein,  electronics, and food courts.

The theater is a massive modern multiplex of concert halls, theaters,  lobbies, restaurants (indoor and out), and, yes, more malls.
I give a Shakespeare masterclass tomorrow afternoon (Friday), then we launch a number of two show days.  Monday day off, and then April 1, fly to Auckland.  Our rehearsal yesterday was the first time back at the show in two weeks, and was mostly a technical affair.  Thursday, March 26th we have a a full dress in the afternoon and that night, the opening.  The economy has hit Singapore hard, and the host theater lost its two sponsors, with the result that the audience  is likely to be a bit thin for the run.  But the show looks great, and the company seems in good spirits.

–Dakin Matthews