Lea Salonga, best known as Miss Saigon, a titular role that won her the Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Theatre World Awards, returns to the Singapore stage in Singapore Repertory Theatre's God of Carnage, which is set to run from November 6-25 2012.
God of Carnage, winner of Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Play, is a viciously funny and biting comedy that takes place in the aftermath of a playground fight between two schoolboys. Their parents decide to meet to “talk” it out. What starts as a polite discussion soon degenerates into verbal warfare with all four adults revealing their own issues and true colours.
Lea Salonga plays one of the mothers, and she took some time to answer some pertinent questions about the play, motherhood, and life.
In God of Carnage you play a parent, and you are a parent in real life as well. Did that help you in understanding and getting into the character and the play?
It certainly cut down my preparation time. There are insights that parents (or parental figures) have that people that have no children just do not. Your sense of what your priorities are, what you're willing to sacrifice for the sake of your children, and what you're not willing to give up to keep a sense of self intact. As for getting into the character, I just imagined something this terrible happening to my own child. I have a daughter that's now learning playground politics and diplomacy. I wish her the best of luck.
In the play, your child is about 11 or 12 years old, but your real life daughter is only six. Have you had any playground or school incidents with your kid, that involved other kids and their parents, much like in the play?
She has come to me to say that there have been kids that have hurt her feelings, and that she isn't friends with them anymore. Oh dear... welcome to life, my child. However, there hasn't been anything violent [like] the circumstances of the play.
How did becoming a mother change you?
Emotions are now closer to the surface... and you know in your heart that you would absolutely kill for your child. Literally. No one had better dare mess with her. Both my husband and I are very protective.