Kakiseni Blog

A foot in the Malaysian arts scene!

Posts from the “Reviews” Category

Malaysian Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Posted on 25 April 2013

Venue : penangpac @ Straits Quay

Phone # : +604 8991 722 / 2722

Ticket price : RM28

Date : 25 – 27 April 8.30pm
28 April 3pm

Facebook : Shakespeare Demystified

We are deeply skeptical of Shakespeare. Perhaps we have been conditioned by our school experiences. We have been forced to learn his plays. And even though we have been told that he is the world’s best playwright, we suspect that he is overrated and we could write something ten times better if we had the time and motivation. Perhaps we have seen a few movies adaptations of his plays, and the language sounds like it came from last century. Hasn’t anyone written anything as good since then? What’s so special about his plays in the first place?

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A possible revolution

Posted on 23 April 2013

The idea: Get a whole group of college-aged theater actors and enthusiasts together. Put on shows that you would like to perform and what people want to see. Yang penting sekali, semangat kena tinggi. Khairunazwan Rodzy, an Aswara graduate in Direction, did just that back in 2006. Over the years, the group dubbed “Revolution Stage” has grown into a rather sizeable and energetic bunch. Made up of students, graduates and their peers from various universities around Malaysia, they have staged about 10 shows since their inception. Ramleefestasi and Tepuk Amai-Amai were originally shown as part of Bangkit, a project started by Revolution Stage in October last year to get more people, especially teens, to the theater. It featured five plays — the others being…

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M.Butterfly: When is a play not a play?

Posted on 23 April 2013

When a new play is premiered, the focus of the criticism is on the text. Is it original? Is it relevant? Is it spelt out in a way that makes sense? The team’s technical abilities are secondary to the idea being presented. Once the play has been alive for a while or becomes famous, subsequent productions struggle with the fact that the focus is now on the production and how it compares to the debut. Have they said redundant things, or did they discover anything new? Did they do the text justice? Have they succeeded it making it relevant to its new time and place? Instincts and bravery Rumah Anak Teater’s daring approach Rumah Anak Teater’s M.Butterfly falls somewhere in between being a new…

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Imaginary Homelands: Kisah Dari Siru Kambam

Posted on 15 April 2013

The final story in the Kisah Dari Siru Kambam anthology (Uthaya Sankar SB; RM30), “Chitra Paurnami”, is a subtle tale of family and forgiveness. An elderly woman and her grandchild celebrate a festival together. The true meaning of said festival day, Chitra Paurnami, is discussed at length: held in honour of Chitragupta, the God of Death’s assistant, a family invites the visiting divinity into their home and serves Him a sumptuous feast — in hopes that when it is their time to be judged in the afterlife, He will plead on their behalf. But that tradition is considered passé, and most of Grandma’s family prefer to celebrate at the temple, with “kavadi, berjalan di atas bara api, dan pembawaan rata” — needless ostentations, she…

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Tales That Bind Women

Posted on 25 March 2013

“Female directors telling women’s stories” is a straightforward concept, yet the fruit of Ikal Mayang is something far more layered and complex. With an ambitious 15 short films in the series, Ikal Mayang’s diverse collective serves as an intricate exploration of the female experience in a Malaysian setting. Ikal Mayang in the Malay language means long, wavy black hair and refers to the idiom: ‘Rambut sama hitam, hati lain-lain’. Our hair may be the same shade of black, but our hearts hold different stories. Because of the usual lack of female representation in the local film and TV industry, it’s refreshing to see that women were involved in all stages of Ikal Mayang’s conception. The directors were handpicked by Low Ngai Yuen and Lee Su…

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Catching The Big Fish

Posted on 15 March 2013

Our emcee and spoken word artist Elaine Foster says “I can’t speak for you! Which is why I want other people to speak for themselves. And [when we] put together their stories, it becomes our collective story.” We’re at The Big Fish, a storytelling event Elaine regularly organises at NeroFico. It’s a likeable event, and we’ve heard many gems from various storytellers over the months. The Big Fish audience gets a more personal experience here than at any other regular event in KL. This is largely thanks to the tendency of those onstage to default to confessional tales, though occasionally the introductions have felt invasive and exploitative (which is not to say the audience resisted the juicy details). Nevertheless, most storytellers bare their souls…

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Oh, Inverted World

Posted on 12 March 2013

It wasn’t easy writing this. There was prejudice all around, from those who balked at the idea of an anti-queer musical without knowing what it was really about, to prejudice exhibited by the folks responsible for staging this (when I actually went to watch it), to the prejudice of my fellow audience members chuckling at the most non-PC jokes I’ve heard in recent years. So I’ll forgo a proper “introduction” and dive right in. Asmara Songsang, written and directed by Rahman Adam, is about the lives of the LGBT community encapsulated into a neat little microcosm. Three friends, who identify themselves as Nazirah, Latipah and Karim, lead a gang of queer delinquents. Headquartered in a public park conveniently situated between neighborhood homes and the…

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Really, where is Ruby Moon?

Posted on 7 March 2013

Christopher Ling has good taste in scripts. His credits boast shows that are intelligent, questioning and quite daring. They do not fall into what we euphemistically call the accessible canon, and Mr. Ling is pretty hip to the exciting new theatre out there — I don’t think there’s been a LaChiusa musical staged even in Singapore. In line with the rest of his plays, Ruby Moon has an excellent script. It is a highly stylised exploration of grief and loss as experienced by Ray and Sylvie Moon, who are trying to cope with the disappearance of their child Ruby. They continue to live in the same house, hoping she might return and immersing themselves in rituals they’ve created to keep their daughter in their…

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“What are you doing in Malaysia?”

Posted on 4 March 2013

“Welcome to Readings, I’m Sharon Bakar,” said the host Amir Muhammad. Sharon Bakar, the organizer, was seated in the front row, taking a break from her hosting duties. The readings usually take place in front of Hamir Soib’s Tak ada beza, a 4-panel painting of pigs walking on their hind legs. This time, the readings took place in another part of Seksan Gallery, in front of a series of mixed-media works by students from Universiti Teknologi MARA. Reading@Seksan’s 9th anniversary was last month, but this month’s event is bigger. Why? Tash Aw is reading. His first novel, Harmony Silk Factory, won the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel. Nobel laureate Doris Lessing said the book is “unputdownable.”…

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Neoromantik cuba bawa makna baharu percintaan remaja muda mudi

Posted on 21 February 2013

Kemunculan kumpulan teater kecil yang mementaskan teater skala kecil semakin rancak dipersembahkan. Terbaharu, teater Antologi Neo-romantik yang dipentaskan di Stor Teater DBP terbitan Artful Creator dan Paradoks Production. Neoromantik ditulis dan diarahkan oleh Aloy Paradoks. Teater ini memenangi Skrip Terbaik dalam Sayembara Menulis Skrip Teater Pendek anjuran Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka pada tahun 2012 yang lalu. Melalui pertandingan itu juga, Aloy Paradoks turut dianugerahkan sebagai pelakon lelaki terbaik dalam sayembara tersebut. Kini, Aloy Paradoks kembali mementaskan Neoromantik dalam durasi yang lebih panjang. Pementasan berlangsung selama empat hari bermula daripada 14 hingga 17 Februari 2013 dan memakan masa lebih kurang 1 jam 15 minit. Neoromantik membawa persoalan cinta sepasangan kekasih yang hidup di zaman pasca moden. Tidak terperangkap dengan makna cinta tradisional seperti yang pernah…

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