‘Parah’ to represent Malaysia in World Theatre Festival

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian play Parah will represent the country in the World Theatre Festival 2013 in Brisbane, Australia, next month.

The play will be performed over five days at the Visy Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse from Feb 13.

“I'm happy to be able to take a quintessentially Malaysian play outside of Malaysia.

“This year, there are plays from Iran, Belgium, the United States, Germany, Ireland, Australia and Britain.

“I'm looking forward to meeting artists from these countries, finding out more about their theatre and sharing our work with them.” said director Jo Kukathas, who also directed the play during its critically-acclaimed run at KLPAC in February last year.

Kukathas said Parah's involvement in the festival had been the idea of Sreedhevi Iyer, a Malaysian researcher living in Brisbane.

She said Sreedhevi had brought the play to the attention of World Theatre Festival Artistic Director Andrew Ross, who enjoyed the play, and later invited them to be part of the festival.

“Like Malaysia, Australia is a multi-cultural country coupled with a complex history of migrations. Therefore, issues of race, identity and politics are close to the surface.

“Malaysia, with its hybrid culture and simmering racial and religious mix, is a country which holds many stories that would resonate in many places across the globe.” Kukathas said.

The cast of Parah comprise young actors Farah Rani, Iedil Putra, Branavan Aruljothi and Gregory Sze, who reprise their roles from last year's production.

“I am very excited but it does feel surreal, really. I don't think it will properly kick in until we're actually there.” Farah said about the experience.

Written by Singaporean playwright Alfian Sa'at and inspired by the late Yasmin Ahmad's final film, Talentime, as well as Abdullah Hussain's novel, Interlok, Parah examines themes of identity, belonging and the power of words.

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