Marc Abaya and Angel Aquino. Composite photo
MANILA – After her successful movie, “On the Job” actress Angel Aquino is set to make her theater debut via the local production of the award-winning British play “Closer.”
While she has performed in the episodic play “Vagina Monologues,” Aquino said this is the first time that she will go on stage as a full-blown theater actress.
“It’s really challenging for me especially since it’s my first time to go on stage. I have experienced ‘Vagina Monologues’ but I had the monologues in my hands so I had that security with me and I didn’t have to worry about blocking,” she said in an interview on “Mornings@ANC” on Tuesday.
“But this time, I’m really on stage, acting and reacting, so it’s really daunting for me,” she said.
“Closer” is one of the two productions for the maiden season of the newly formed theater company Red Turnip.
Also making his debut on stage is musician and TV actor Marc Abaya, who admitted that it took him some time to try theater because of fear.
“Honestly, it’s fear because Angel (Aquino) and I are used to film and television, which is different,” Abaya explained. “When you have a camera, of course, you could do close-ups. They could capture moments for you, the director, there’s always a take two.”
“Here [in theater], there’s no escape,” he added. “If you mess up, you have to make it work. I’ve never worked so hard in my entire life, ever. I’m serious, ever.”
Abaya said the experience of rehearsing for “Closer” is “a wonderful challenge to step out of your comfort zone and to do something for you to grow as a person.”
“Because here [in theater], I’m that small,” said the singer, making a pinch gesture.
Joining Abaya and Aquino in “Closer” are theater veterans Bart Guingona and Cris Villonco, who are hoping that the play will be accepted by the Filipino audience despite its “edgy” material.
“It’s a really clever British play. It’s four great roles for actors, and it’s edgy because a lot of it has to do with lust and love. It tackles, for example, the idea of sex in a very… open way,” Guingona said.
“[It’s edgy] especially doing it in a country like ours which is conservative. It’s a little scary to do because you’re breaking boundaries when you do things or say things on stage. But that’s what makes theater so interesting, you provide for an audience a dangerous life that you yourself wouldn’t live,” he added.
Villonco, meanwhile, noted how the play will be staged in “unconventional spaces,” a defining feature of Red Turnip.
“I think it also makes you extra vulnerable because one of the features of Red Turnip is that we like to have stage plays in unconventional spaces. So this is going to be in Whitespace, the first venture for Whitespace to do something theatrical,” she said. “So we are very close to the audience. The audience can see us sweat, can see every single tiny thing in our bodies.”
“So it’s quite intimidating now that we’re rehearsing with 10 to 15 people watching us. What more when there are 200 people?”
“Closer” will open on October 4 and will run until October 27 at Whitespace along Chino Roces Avenue Extension in Makati. Shows are scheduled at 9 p.m. on Fridays, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturdays except October 12, and 3 p.m. on Sundays.
For tickets, call TicketWorld at (02) 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.