Of Hope, Faith, and Frailty

By Goenawan Mohamad At the calendar’s last page lies our primary question: is hope ever possible? Each December we surmise and make plan. We ask: Will 2005 be a dismal year? Will growth exceed 5 percent? Will there be new acts of terror? Statistics and astrology provide responses ready with possible faults. Each prognosis is […]

Nature vs Nurture

By Jo Kukathas & Haresh Sharma Half a year ago, I brunched with director Jo Kukathas and Singaporean playwright Haresh Sharma at Top Hat. These two motor-mouthed wordsmiths discoursed in such an epic fashion that I had spent the last six months trying to edit down the interview. This is it, at last. At that […]

Is Everything a Performance?

By Khoo Gaik Cheng Foreword by Editor: Gosh, how does one explain Performance Studies? It sounds harmless enough, doesn’t it? Before the Performance Studies international conference I attended in Singapore June this year, I assumed it is like applying my ‘A’ levels literary criticism skills to theatre performances, but with bigger words. Then, at the […]

Jingle All The Way

By Chan Siew Lian David Gomes & Junji Delfino – It’s Christmas Time Again Every December, a condition known as jingleitis afflicts me. It starts with a visit to the mall, and is severely exacerbated by tonally malfunctioning carollers. Symptoms include cold sweat, nausea, shortness of breath, migraine and tinnitus. It was with trepidation then […]

Love On Trial

By Yasmin Ahmad We the rakyat, as represented by the Censorship Board, are being spared of Yasmin Ahmad’s new film Sepet, which features – god forbid! – interracial romance. It does not seem to matter that every year, we the rakyat have also seen many of Yasmin Ahmad’s famously muhibbah Petronas advertisements on TV, with […]

Strangled Carmen

By Pia Zain & Simon Hegarty Bizet’s music is transcendent. Once you have seen and heard Carmen, you can never forget it. It gets under your skin, haunting with the resonance of emotion. Music that hurts the soul with its purity and passion. We went to see Bizet’s Carmen, staged by the Penang Arts Council […]

Sing It, Mean It!

By Zedeck Siew Last weekend my chamber choir performed an enactment of The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, a traditional Christian service format. We were asked, recently, if we wanted to participate in the upcoming December 25th Christmas Open House at the field opposite Amcorp Mall. A Malaysia Open House happens for six major […]


By Pang Khee Teik Again, many are shaking their heads at the dismal state of theatre this year. Nevermind the bad ticket sales, but where are the new original works? I missed Gavin Yap’s Wish I Were There and Life… Sdn Bhd 2, but managed to catch the three below, all original scripts in English […]

Beyond Beyond

By Phang Kuan Hoong It was early 2003; the world news was taking an uneasy shift as President Dubya and his minions ejaculated on a daily basis the need to wage war on Iraq. Voices of distress and disgust could be heard from every corner of the world. Even in Malaysia, a “demand-for-peace” rally was […]


By Elaine Tan My co-reviewer, a sandy haired postulant, has been to a dozen or more live performances but only once to the cinema. She is four years old, the age that parenting guidebooks describe as blessed with “a vivid imagination leading to rich fantasy play.” Together, we explored the sudden boom in the business […]

Super Tweety

By Mislina Mustaffa Sinopsis persembahan ini memang epik. Inilah cubaan saya untuk meringkasnya: Ptuih! (nama protagonis) yang rebel bertengkar dengan bapak dan dihalau keluar. Helium Si Gas Nadir, abang Ptuih! yang sedikit autisme mengikut Ptuih! hingga ke stesen transit. Ptuih! merupakan bagai Superman kepada Helium, yang sentiasa memeluk patung Tweety. Helium memujuk Ptuih! supaya tidak […]

The Sound of New Music

By Dr Valerie Ross Congratulations Chong Kee Yong – here’s to even greater compositional heights and more Starry Nights! One of the most compelling experiences of attending an event such as the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, International Composers Award (Nov 27, 2004, at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas), must be the privilege of hearing first-hand the actual voices […]

Notes from Underground

By Toni Kasim In Dramalab’s restaging of Huzir Sulaiman’s The Smell of Language and Notes on Life and Love and Painting, Zahim Albakri embodied two obnoxious characters in a way that really appealed to my tastebuds – never quite deciding whether I liked the pompous duo but never quite detesting them either. In painting life […]

Australia Boleh

By Zedeck Siew The cello’s left rib edge can scar one’s inner left thigh, as I found out while playing with an amateur youth orchestra. Its extendable steel spike is sometimes detachable and useful for the cellist on foot who is afraid of stray dogs. Women were once discouraged from playing the cello due to […]

The Political Artist

By Carmen Nge If Wong Hoy Cheong’s exhibition at the National Art Gallery had kept to its original opening date – September 2003 – his response to the sacking and arrest of Anwar and the judicial misconduct that followed would have taken on an entirely different tone. Anwar would still be in jail; it would […]