5 exciting theatre shows to catch in December


  • Arts
  • Tuesday, 11 Dec 2018

Ebby Saiful (left) and Haliza Misbun play the husband and wife characters Darwis and Mardiah in Pokok. — Teater Pokok

The performing arts year is coming to a close pretty soon.

Have you caught any theatre shows?

There has been a bountiful list of productions through the year, but the good news is that the Klang Valley performing arts scene is not done yet.

The recently opened theatre production Pokok, helmed by director U-Wei Saari and written by Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar, has been all the buzz.

Not to forget the upcoming Teater Yeop: Tribute To Datuk Syed Alwi, a mini showcase of three of the late National Laureate’s most famous and endearing works coming real soon.

The Actors Studio’s 30th anniversary celebrations also continues with dance performance called The Dead Bird, which is based on an ancient Sufi text.

From original local Malay plays to dance shows and a children's musical, theatre aficionados have quite a few things to look out for.

Here are five theatre picks:

pokok
Buyung Zasdar (left) and Rahim Jailani play Amud and Tuk Kaya respectively in Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar's theatre play Pokok. Photo: Teater Pokok

Pokok, Auditorium, Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka, Jalan Dewan Bahasa, Bukit Petaling, KL, till Dec 16

This play marks the first collaboration between Tan Sri Johan Jaaffar, the playwright, and U-Wei Saari, the director. Both are colossal figures in their own fields. Where the story is concerned, Pokok revolves around husband and wife Darwis and Mardiah. They live in a ramshackle house, which sits directly under an old tree. This poses a threat. With a baby on the way, Darwis realises that their home is not fit for his family and slowly comes to terms that he must make a big sacrifice. In calling Pokok a story of humanity, Johan says the play is a reflection of life with all its trials and tribulations. “More importantly, it’s a story of love. It’s one of those love stories that you wouldn’t think is possible but it did happen,” adds Johan. The play features actors Haliza Misbun, Ebby Saiful, Rahim Jailani and Buyung Zasdar.

More details: airasiaredtix.com.

mud
Mud The Musical returns for a limited run with Enfiniti Academy’s young actors group Enfiniti Juniors. The show is directed by Joanna Bessey. Photo: The Star/Low Lay Phon

Mud The Musical, The Platform, Menara Ken, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL, Dec 14-22

Comebacks are great even if they are for a limited time only. The successful Mud The Musical, which clocked in over 2,000 shows at Panggung Bandaraya DBKL before the curtains came down last April, is being revived with a much younger cast. Directed by Joanna Bessey, the musical will be performed by children and young actors from Enfiniti Juniors. Mud is about three best friends – Mamat, Meng and Muthiah – making a living in Kuala Lumpur at the dawn of the 20th century. Their struggles and youthful antics are set against the backdrop of a booming trading centre, which was eventually engulfed by fire, water and mud. Ouch!

More details: enfinitiacademy.com/mud.

The Dead Bird, Pentas 2, KLPac, Dec 14-15

Maybe a bit of soul searching is required as we end the year and this full-length dance performance seems to be exploring just that. Based on Sufi poet Ibn Arabi’s The Universal Tree And The Four Birds, the dance show by Kuala Lumpur-based dance group Soubi Sha and The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat looks into what it means to be human. Combining Butoh and contemporary dance, The Dead Bird explores the four conflicting duo aspects of human existence which includes purity and desire, knowledge and ego, life and death and existence and nothingness, symbolised by the four birds from the poetry work. The Dead Bird, featuring six dancers, is presented in conjunction with The Actors Studio's 30th anniversary celebrations.

More details: www.klpac.org.

yeop
A rehearsal scene from Teater Yeop: Tribute To Datuk Syed Alwi by Tampakdara and The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat. Photo: Tampakdara

Teater Yeop: Tribute To Datuk Syed Alwi, Pentas 2, KLPac, Dec 27-30

What better way to celebrate the late National Laureate Datuk Syed Alwi Syed Hassan (1930-2008) and his contributions to the development of Malaysian theatre than by staging a mini showcase of three of his most famous and endearing works – Alang Rentak Seribu (1973), Tok Perak (1974) and Going North (1980). But there is a twist to this theatre production. The showcase by Tampakdara and The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat will be presented in a “forum theatre format”. The show is directed by Rosdeen Suboh. The cast includes Dr Norzizi Zulkifli, Amar Asyraf, Yusmar Yusof, Nadia Aqilah, Naque Ariffin and Taiyuddin Bakar.

This means the actors will tap into suggestions, views, input and real life story suggestions from the audience. Now, that’s what we call an interactive theatre experience.

More details: www.klpac.org.

chini
Lili Of Chini by Tunas Tari. Photo: ArtRoom Junior

Lili Of Chini, DPac, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya, Dec 29-30

Mention Lake Chini in Pahang and the first thing that comes to many people’s mind is the fabled resident dragon. But did you know there is another tale associated to the lake? It is believed to be the site of a sunken ancient Khmer kingdom and mixing history with legend, this dance show by Tunas Tari will dramatise the event. Get ready to be mesmerised with the compelling tale of two rival sisters and how the ill will of the older causes havoc in the younger’s kingdom. To stay true to the dragon myth, the older sister begins to grow dragon scales as a result of her treachery.

More details: www.dpac.com.my.


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