In my 23 years of existence, I think this is the only time I’ve seen a school production before (High School Musical not included). As I sat in the Fine Arts Theater of Gonzaga Hall inside Ateneo, I looked around for familiar faces. I saw a few colleagues from previous shows in the past. While I saw some friends, I have to admit, I still didn’t know what to expect. I knew that Real-Life Fairytales was an original play — by Ejay Yatco of Dani Girl, Friction and Sa Wakas, no less — about, well, real-life fairytales. What unfolded in front of my eyes was totally unexpected.
Brutally honest and at times uncomfortable, Real-Life Fairytales confronts us with our worst nightmares. It’s told in a series of vignettes that explore insecurities, anxieties and fears that we human beings struggle to cope with — all through well-known but deconstructed fairytale tropes. Shows like this can actually help people feel like they’re not all that different. In fact, feeling it proves your humanity. They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and in this blueRep production, that’s truly the case.
From an insecure Cinderella to a depressed Peter Pan, Real-Life Fairytale uses classic fairytales to tell stories of real life. “We sublimate trauma into art. We put it in a higher realm. (We want people to) see these experiences here and to know that they’re not alone,” says director Missy Maramara. With the show’s original songs and comedic touches, Real-Life Fairytales is like that hug you get from a friend after your worst day ever. It makes you face your worst nightmares, but at the end of every vignette, it tells you that everything will be okay. Because it will. We’ll all live happily ever after somehow.
Catch Real-Life Fairytales until Oct. 1 at the Fine Art Theater, Gonzaga Hall, Ateneo de Manila University. For tickets, call 0906-5745545 or go to bluerepertory.org/tickets.