By SARA HENDAWY
Actress and comedian Kate McKinnon once said “comedy is a tool of togetherness. It’s a way of putting your arm around someone, pointing at something, and saying, ‘Isn’t it funny that we do that?’ It’s a way of reaching out.”
This could not be truer of sketch comedy revue Indicinelive!, which opens at KLPac on July 18.
The show is a mash-up of situational comedy, song parodies and political satire.
“Comedy can be a way of representing our flaws in a funny manner in order for us to learn from them and become better. This is why I believe comedy has a great appeal, it’s a source of empowerment,” says director Kelvin Wong, 34, who first staged Indicinelive! back in 2010.
“It is a way for us to bring up issues, to discuss them and to recognise issues that are important to us, as a community and a nation. We need to talk about these things and comedy gives us the opportunity to do it,” he adds.
Indicinelive!, now in its sixth edition, features a brand new cast and team of writers and of course, new content (24 sketches in total!) that Wong, founder of theatre outfit Theatresauce, promises will have you splitting your sides.
Baffled by the whole bubble tea (or boba) craze that has taken over Malaysians? Indicinelive!6 is set to sink its comedic teeth into the phenomenon.
What about scandals that shook (did it though?) the nation in recent times, political figures trying to make a comeback, what it means to be an Indian in Malaysia or even something as simple as finding a partner? It seems Indicinelive!6 has covered all bases and then some.
The ensemble consists of Tiara Anchant, Anrie Too, Jad Hidhir, Belinda Hon, Dinesh Kumar, Dexter Lim, Nabil Musawir, Grace Ng, Jeremy Ooi, Sasidaran Subramaniam, and Anjali Venugopal.
Uihua Cheah, Freddy Tan, Terence Toh, Tung Jit Yang, Veshalini Naidu and Kevin Eng make up the writing team.
Wong says this year’s Indicinelive! is asking the question whether Malaysia Baharu is truly "baru".
“Last year, with the change of government, there was a lot of uncertainty. As writers, we were not sure if our content would be great or not. Who do we poke fun at? So the writing approach last year was quite different," says Tan, 34, referring to last year's Indicinelive!, which was largely informed by Malaysia's 14th general election.
“Now, there is more juice for us to use and I’m not talking about scandals alone. There are social issues which we seem to have forgotten about with the hype of the new government," he adds.
Tan has been involved in Indicinelive! since 2010 in the role of a writer and actor.
“I’m not saying everything is negative in Malaysia but we are still hoping that things will be better. So there is cynicism in our approach and I think we are gaining back our critical and bolder outlook,” he explains.
Tan also directed Indicinelive! The Revival together with Cheah in 2015 under Sifu Productions, putting together the best sketches from the first four episodes.
Wong agrees with Tan's outlook and says this comedy series stretches beyond humour.
“We are doing this so that people can laugh but we would also like the audience to think about what they are laughing about. Yes, sure, you can laugh at yourself when you watch these sketches but what about yourself are you laughing about?” he asks.