Sudirman and Tom Hiddleston grace the weekend's virtual theatre treats


Tom Hiddleston plays the Roman general Coriolanus in the Shakespeare play of the same name. It is streaming on Britain's National Theatre's Youtube channel. Photo: Johan Persson

Two plays from Shakespeare and an anti-racism "town hall" session with Big Bird, and a few other Sesame Street characters, might make for strange weekend viewing. But we live in surreal times. So just sit back and enjoy what's happening virtually this weekend.

Coriolanus

Here is your chance to watch Tom Hiddleston (Betrayal, The Avengers, The Night Manager) play Coriolanus in Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, directed by Josie Rourke (Mary Queen Of Scots).

When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But he has enemies at home too. This tragedy of political manipulation, revenge and famine also stars Mark Gatiss, Hadley Fraser and Alfred Enoch.

This National Theatre production (with scenes featuring occasional gore and staged violence) was filmed live at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 2014. It is available until June 12,2am (Malaysian time). Watch it here.

One Thousand Million Smiles

Last call to watch One Thousand Million Smiles, a musical tribute to Sudirman, directed by Datuk Faridah Merican, The Actors Studio Malaysia co-founder.

You can still catch it on demand on KLPac's Youtube channel before it ends on June 7, midnight.

One Thousand Million Smiles is the second theatre production from KLPac's archives made available online during these pandemic times.

One Thousand Million Smiles features 16 Sudirman songs (from Balik Kampung to Milik Siapakah Gadis Ini and Salam Terakhir to Hujan), performed by a homegrown cast, including Aaron Teoh, Dasha Logan, Tria Aziz, and Atai, Sudirman’s own nephew, who often appeared with him on stage.

Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism

Here's something different, but rather timely. The 60-minute special Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism, a CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families, will air tonight (June 6), 10pm, Malaysian time.

The show will talk to kids about racism and the recent nationwide protests in the United States, while also explaining how they can embrace diversity and be more empathetic and understanding. It will stream live on CNN.com's homepage.

The Heart Comes To Mind

When life sends family members on separate trajectories, what keeps them bound together?

Singaporean production The Heart Comes To Mind explores the relationship between an ageing writer and his scientist daughter. As they each wrestle with the loss of their wife and mother, each comes to contemplate personal failures and relational shortcomings within their family.

This play by Lucas Ho is an audio recording of a live rehearsal, a snapshot of how a pandemic-era production can be adapted temporarily beyond the stage.

Produced by Singaporean theatre group Checkpoint Theatre, it is directed by Malaysian-born Claire Wong, and features Julius Foo and Oon Shu An, with a soundtrack by Shah Tahir and Ryan Sim. It is available until June 12. Listen to it here.

The Merry Wives Of Windsor

This is the only Shakespeare play that is set in his native England. The fat knight Sir John Falstaff believes that two women, Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, have fallen for him. He decides to seduce them both, more for their husbands' money rather than for love. The two women, however, are wise to his tricks, and turn the tables on him.

This production draws influence from 1930s British fashion, music and dance. It was filmed at London's Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre last year.

Directed by Elle White, it stars Olivier Award-nominated actress Bryony Hannah as Mistress Ford, Sarah Finigan as Mistress Page and Pearce Quigley as Falstaff. It is available from now until June 14. Watch it here.

The Merry Wives of Windsor is a Shakespeare comedy about a knight who tries to seduce two women, only to get fooled by them instead.  Photo: Helen MurrayThe Merry Wives of Windsor is a Shakespeare comedy about a knight who tries to seduce two women, only to get fooled by them instead. Photo: Helen Murray

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