A collection of everyday household objects lead the cast in a new Malaysian theatre series

  • Arts
  • Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020

'Teater Atas Meja is the staging of plays on a surface, using everyday household items as characters,' says Nurul, referencing the table top theatre model. Photo: Moka Mocha Ink

Talking mugs and watering pots may be the stuff of fantasy or Disney movies. But who knew they could also be the leading stars in a theatre production?

Staying true to its brand of offbeat theatre productions, Moka Mocha Ink’s (Moka) new three-part online series, called Teater Atas Meja, uses household items as characters in mini plays.

Directed by Moka’s co-founder Ridhwan Saidi, Teater Atas Meja will be streamed for free every Thursday at 8pm via Moka’s Vimeo channel and its Instagram page, starting this Thursday (Sept 17).

Teater Atas Meja, supported by the Cultural Economy Development Agency’s (Cendana) Create Now Funding Programme grant, is essentially a combination of performing arts and filmmaking, says Moka’s co-founder Nurul Aizam.

Each video will run for 10 minutes with English and Bahasa Malaysia subtitles. To date, two videos have been completed.

Teater Atas Meja is the staging of plays on a surface, using everyday household items as characters,” says Nurul, underlining the use of the table top theatre model.

British-based theatre company Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare was a reference point here.

“Elements from diorama and puppetry will be incorporated in this production since table top theatre is somewhat similar to puppet theatre.

“Performers will be more of puppeteers rather than actors. They will need to work with the objects to convey what the characters say in the story," she adds.

For this online staging, three playlets from Ridhwan’s 2018 Teater Modular series will be used, namely Berat Dosa Siapa Yang Tahu? (featuring Theyvapaalan S Jayaratnam and Aiman Aiman), Kurator Dapur (featuring Nyna Roslan & Rashid Akhmal) and Erti Mati (actors to be confirmed).

To inject freshness to the online series, each playlet will be filmed at different outdoor locations such as a park, forest reserve and a lake.

Teater Atas Meja continues Moka’s online programming series, which started early on during the movement control order (MCO).

In March, Moka started Drama Kilat, a minute-long 13-part episodic audio drama series. Then in May, Moka opened its digital vault with Buka Arkib, with three plays from its Teater Normcore series online for free.

Moka has also produced an 85-minute movement-based film called Tiada Cinta Selama Muda, directed by Ridhwan. Filming began in June and it was completed last month. The film is under post-production.

Next month, Moka will be organising a few forums, starting on Oct 17 with Sesi Fikirasa, which discusses film.

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