PenangPac reopens with live theatre show, pandemic precautions in place


  • Arts
  • Wednesday, 01 Jul 2020

The Ice Kacang Project marks PenangPac’s first live performance since the start of the movement control order (MCO) in March. It is also the first mainstream theatre space in the country to open to the public. Photo: PenangPac

Forgot what a live theatre show feels like? PenangPac is set to remind us as it reopens its doors with the comedy play The Ice Kacang Project.

Directed by Fa Abdul, a Penang-based playwright/director, the hour-long show will play at PenangPac’s Stage 2 from July 3-5.

The Ice Kacang Project marks PenangPac’s first live performance since the start of the movement control order (MCO) in March, which has now entered its recovery phase. It is also the first mainstream theatre space in the country to open to the public.

On June 22, Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that cinemas, theatre and live event spaces are allowed to reopen from July 1.

The Ice Kacang Project consists of six playlets written by John Newman, Terence Toh, Yusuf Zalfakhar and Fa. It features Penang-based stage actors Karam Tabba, 26, and Tan Seoh Chen, 34, who will be playing 12 characters in total.

“This show ranges from laugh out loud sketches all the way to thought provoking ones. It will definitely heal theatregoers who have been missing the performing arts scene since lockdown," says Fa, 45, who’s also PenangPac’s publicity manager.

Fa Abdul says 'The Ice Kacang Project' was planned during the lockdown, with rehearsals conducted almost entirely via Zoom. The performers and production crew are also following the health guidelines, backstage and onstage, where the performers will be at two-metres away from the audience. Photo: Filepic Fa Abdul says 'The Ice Kacang Project' was planned during the lockdown, with rehearsals conducted almost entirely via Zoom. The performers and production crew are also following the health guidelines, backstage and onstage, where the performers will be at two-metres away from the audience. Photo: Filepic

“What better way to welcome the audience back to theatre than a highly entertaining show right?” she adds.

Fa says that the idea for the project came about late during the MCO, which has hit PenangPac hard financially. A total of 29 shows have been cancelled or postponed since March.

“I thought it would be great to plan a show while waiting for the theatre to resume operations, ” adds Fa, revealing that she and her team began online rehearsals via Zoom in mid-May.

Fa says the stories range from a monk who tries to heal a broken heart using nothing but an abacus board in The Root Of All Problems to two complete opposites who are brought together for the love for durian in Small Talk Really Stinks.

In compliance with public health guidelines provided by the government to ensure the safety of the patrons, only a maximum of 33 seats will be made available for each show. Normally, PenangPac’s Stage 2 fits 120 seats.

Fa also assures that the actors will be performing two metres away from the audience. To follow the government’s public health SOPs, PenangPac will not allow theatre entry to children (12 and below) and adults above 60.

Audiences will be brought in and out of the theatre hall in groups and will be requested to put on face masks throughout the duration of the performance.

For more details, visit PenangPac’s website.

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PenangPac , Theatre , Comedy , Pandemic , Live show

   

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