High drama and lots of heart

High drama and lots of heart
A scene from For Better Or For Worse by Checkpoint Theatre, written by playwright Faith Ng.

Good, solid drama forms the backbone of this year's Life! Theatre Awards, with many nominated works bearing the hallmarks of realism and naturalism.

Leading the pack is the highly rated courtroom drama 12 Angry Men, by newcomer Nine Years Theatre, with a total of eight nominations under its belt - including Production of the Year.

The play throws the spotlight on a testosterone-pumped, highly strung jury room, where a single juror (Jeffrey Low, a Best Actor nominee) casts doubt on a guilty verdict that should have been a foregone conclusion. The debate that happens next transforms many of the other jurors' long-held beliefs and prejudices.

Nelson Chia, 41, who directed the work and is also artistic director of Nine Years Theatre, was "very pleasantly surprised" by the eight nominations.

The theatre company was founded just two years ago, but Chia is already feeling the pressure of living up to the expectations of his audience. But he adds: "I'm confident of creating good quality productions. Audience members may like or dislike the production depending on their taste, the script, actors or directorial concept, but they can't deny that it's good quality.

"That is the goal I set myself for every production."

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