A FLEETING GLIMPSE at Mudfest 2023 is a triumph for student theatre

I had the opportunity to witness A Fleeting Glimpse, a captivating student theatre production that delved into the intricacies of human relationships and the pursuit of personal ambitions.


I had the opportunity to witness A Fleeting Glimpse, a captivating student theatre production that delved into the intricacies of human relationships and the pursuit of personal ambitions. The play revolved around the lives of two contrasting yet entwined characters, Alicia, an exuberant aspiring author, and Violet, a reclusive and renowned writer with limited time left. The production masterfully explored their journey of unlikely companionship and the complexities that unfolded.

The portrayal of Alicia, brought to life by the talented Angelica Di Clemente, vividly captured her enthusiastic and ambitious nature as she aspired to find her voice in the world of literature. Equally impressive was the performance of Violet, skilfully played by the very capable Jessica Tran, effectively capturing the character's enigmatic aura and impending mortality. The genuine chemistry between these two characters lent authenticity to their evolving relationship, making their interactions a focal point that held the audience's attention.

The turning point of the production was the introduction of the characters Dec and Ember, or ‘December’, two aspiring musicians, portrayed with convincing zeal from the supporting actors (Dempsey Doyle and Elaine Wong, respectively). Their encounter with Alicia and Violet during a fateful journey paved the way for an unexpected rise to fame through street performances. This narrative twist brought an engaging dynamic to the story, showcasing the power of collaboration and shared aspirations.

However, the play took a poignant turn when Alicia abruptly abandoned her newfound companions, leaving behind not only the band but also Violet in her final moments. This twist, while poignant, highlighted Alicia's underlying self-serving motives, a stark reminder of the intricate shades of human nature. This particular plot element, though disheartening, added depth to the storyline and provoked reflection on the characters' true motivations.

The actors' performances throughout the production were undeniably praiseworthy, managing to draw the audience deep into the world of the play. However, it's worth noting that, like any live performance, there were sporadic instances of minor setbacks. These included occasional forgotten lines or moments where some actors stumbled over their dialogue. It's important to emphasise that these glitches, while noticeable, didn't significantly detract from the overall quality of the production. They appeared more as slight hiccups than major disruptions, and it's apparent that they were likely the result of the natural nervousness that can accompany live theatre. With a bit more rehearsal time, these issues are highly likely to be ironed out, allowing the cast to perform with even greater confidence and precision in future shows.

Moreover, the songs in the production were quite enchanting, but it was the busking melody, ‘The Diamond Inside’, that truly stole the show. Its lyrics resonated with a powerful message of self-discovery and inner brilliance, delivered with a hauntingly beautiful tune that lingered in the hearts of the audience long after the final note. What added an extra layer of magic was the mesmerising rainbow light display that accompanied the performance. It was as if the colours danced in harmony with the music, creating a visual symphony that elevated the entire experience. Together, the song and its radiant visuals created a transcendent moment that left a profound impact on everyone fortunate enough to witness it.

Moving on to the technical aspects of the production, the set design was a standout element that truly deserves commendation. The attention to detail in creating the various settings for the story was evident. Particularly, the lighting design was a triumph in its own right. It played a pivotal role in setting the mood and atmosphere of each scene. The transitions between different lighting schemes were executed seamlessly, guiding the audience's emotions and focus throughout the performance. Whether it was casting a warm, inviting glow during heartwarming moments or creating a stark, dramatic contrast for intense scenes, or using violet backgrounds for Violet’s monologue, the lighting design contributed significantly to the overall impact of the production.

Overall, this student theatre production managed to convey a complex narrative with multiple layers of emotions and motives. While the performance experienced a few stumbling blocks, the commitment and passion of the actors shone through, making it an overall commendable effort. The exploration of human desires, the pursuit of fame and the sacrifices made along the way provided ample food for thought. This production showcased the potential of emerging talent and their ability to bring compelling stories to life on stage.


A Fleeting Glimpse was written and directed by Jessica Fanwong, with music by Riley Brennan and Jennifer Gao. Starring Angelica Di Clemente, Jessica Tran, Dempsey Doyle, Elaine Wong, Emma Venzke, Bailey Metz-Graham, Bridgette Kucher, Mary Hampton, Johanna Chan. It ran from the 23rd to the 24th of August as part of MUDfest 2023.

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