logo

let’s make something together

Give us a call or drop by anytime, we endeavour to answer all enquiries within 24 hours on business days.

Find us

27 & 27A Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia.

Phone support

Phone: +603-77254858

Theatre

Of Boys and Breath Mints

By Yasmin Zetti Martin What kind of school has toughening-up camps that they force their “effeminate” students to attend? The kind of school located in front of a railway station that is known as a red light district? Or is this just the school playwright Shanon Shah went to? The school in question is the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 11, 2008

The 60 Second Plug: “Air Con”

By Yasmin Zetti Martin A school. A dead body. A scandal… “Biasalah asrama.” Award-winning singer-songwriter Shanon Shah’s first full-length play, Air Con tells the story (in Bahasa Malaysia (Kedah dialect) and English with surtitles) of a group of boys at an elite school in Kedah. The boys confront sex, violence, bullying, and growing up after […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 23, 2008

Looking Backwards

By Helen Musa Recent coverage in Kakiseni about the phenomenon of censorship in private sector Malaysian arts may seem like a new thing to some. But to a keen Kakiseni reader, these articles conjured up a past era of Malaysian arts, when the seeds of interference were sown and the trend of individuals setting themselves […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 21, 2008

The 60 Second Plug: KLPac’s “Aladdin – the Pantomime”

By Juliet Jacobs She’s done ‘Sepi’ and ‘Fawzia’ and even parodied some Broadway ditties in between. Now Doreen Tang takes on Paris, the Princess that is, in KLPac’s psychedelic “Aladdin – the Pantomime”. ~ Tell us about yourself. I grew up in Petaling Jaya, in a close-knit family and studied at various institutions — Methodist […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 20, 2007

What’s That Smell?

By Zedeck Siew The shop-lot in Taman Tun Dr Ismail that the theatre companies Dramalab and Five Arts Centre share has a rehearsal space on the ground floor; last Monday, it was occupied by the cast of Ann Lee’s “Tarap Man”, the playwright’s first full-length play in nearly a decade. For a work of such […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 5, 2007

The 60 Second Plug: KLPac’s “4.48 Psychosis”

By Juliet Jacobs Director/actor/writer Gavin Yap tells us about his initial meeting and subsequent relationship with playwright Sarah Kane’s works, as he tackles her last and most experimental work, 4.48 Psychosis. ~ Tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always wanted to be involved in acting and directing? Okay, let’s see: I was born […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 5, 2007

Every Frog Has Its Day

By Amir Hafizi Urgh. For some reason, when the arts community decides to embark on a production that have frogs who dream of singing, they get all “cheesed out”. All that reservoir of cheesiness, all that pent-up corniness. Yes, that corny energy, unleashed upon the unsuspecting public. Just look at “Frogway” ‘s television spot — […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 27, 2007

The Business of Theatre

By Jenny Daneels In reply to critical comments in an article we published last year on the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) and the venue’s anchor tenant The Actors Studio (TAS), co-founder and dramatist-director-actor Joe Hasham agrees to an interview with Kakiseni co-founding editor Jenny Daneels to help put things in perspective. Kakiseni is […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 6, 2007

Tembak: Instant Café Theatre’s Adaptation Masterclass

By Zedeck Siew “I believe we never stop learning,” said actor Anne James, sitting down at a long table. She was right on time for the day’s session, arriving just before me; everyone else was running a little late. Australian director Lawrence Strangio — whose critically acclaimed adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s “Alias Grace” ran at […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 2, 2007

Wayang Nakal

By Zedeck Siew At a crucial point in “Dua, Tiga Dalang Berlari”, an informal-by-form check-up on Wayang Kulit, performer Wong Tay Sy exits stage left, bowed, expression tired and supplicant, rear thrust up in the air. The play’s three actors have just performed a dramatisation of an interview with the dalang and Seniman Negara Pak […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 8, 2007

Shadow Runners

By Tengku Amalia Over a year ago, my classmates and I watched a Wayang Kulit performance as part of our Traditional Asian Theatre course, alongside a seven-day crash course on Mak Yong. Despite being half-Kelantanese (as my father reminds me from time to time), I found myself unable to comprehend most of the text, due […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 23, 2007

The 60 Second Plug: KLPac’s “Within / Without”

By Juliet Jacobs Taking time off their rehearsal schedule, Lim How Ngean, Loh Kok Man and Reza Zainal Abidin discuss their latest project, “Within / Without – two sides revealed”. Three directors, three performers (Melissa Saila, Nell Ng, and Lim Tiong Wooi), and three monologues inspired by works of three Asian playwrights (Kuo Pao Kun, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 17, 2007

Tembak: Wed 9 – Wed 16, May 2007

By Kakiseni Opera Pinocchio Sat 12, May 2007 Once upon a time there was an old carpenter, Geppetto, who wanted a son. A fairy heard the man’s wish, and – as Geppetto lay asleep – granted the gift of life to a wooden puppet. This was how Pinocchio was born. However, the fairy neglected one […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 16, 2007

Metaphors Be With You

By Antares The moment you start focusing your attention on them, metaphors wriggle right out of the woodwork, springing from the ground beneath your feet like mushrooms. Back in 2000 – that pivotal year in which the Earth’s axis was realigned by the crowning of Neocon Emperor George Bush – I gave up on romance, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 14, 2007

The 60 Second Plug: KL Ensemble’s “A Bucketful of Beckett: 8 Shots”

By Juliet Jacobs Kay Chin on knitting, remembering lines, and bizarre initiation rituals. ~ Tell us about yourself. I don’t like to window-shop, and I don’t have much money to shop for real. So when a friend told me that there was a “biomechanics” workshop — by director Chris Jacobs –­ going on, I decided […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 26, 2007

Best Intentions

By Jess C I don’t pretend to be an opera buff, but I have seen enough productions to know what to expect. However, watching the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s latest music production, Mozart’s The Magic Flute (subtitled ‘Selected Excerpts in Concert’) was a totally new experience for me. According to its press release, Mozart’s […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 30, 2007

Death and Tears

By J-Teoh Fancy costumes and hoity-toity language do not generally agree with me in the theatre, so it was with much trepidation that I went to see Wong Phui Nam’s Anike: A Play In Verse (at Dewan Budaya USM on the January 26th and 27th, it also played at Jalan Bukit Bintang’s Wisma SGM the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 1, 2007

Mengalih Punggung

By Zedeck Siew Tell us about yourself. Did you, like any other good middle-class child, have to pick up a formal musical instrument? Yes, my parents insisted I attend piano lessons, beginning at age seven — although they had to drag me kicking and screaming the first few years. I got bored easily, and got […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 28, 2007

Other Than Angkor – Pt. 2

By Gabrielle Low Among the lesser-known temples at Angkor is a pyramidal mass of hewn stone blocks called Baphuon, completed in the 11th century as a representation of the mythical Hindu Mount Meru. Partly due to its size, the temple was also structurally unstable. By the time the French explorer Henri Mouhot stumbled upon Angkor […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 25, 2007

Other Than Angkor – Pt. 1

By Gabrielle Low ‘Stung Treng 216 km’ flashed on the blue signboard as our bus sped along the highway. I was only a third of the way through the journey from Phnom Penh to Cambodia’s northern outpost of Stung Treng — the name of both the province and its capital — near its border with […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 17, 2007

The 60 Second Plug: Tourniquet Production’s “Okiku”

By Juliet Jacobs Okiku is based on a story from Japanese folklore. Tell us more about the conceptualization and story. Sam Yen: The perception is that Okiku is a ghost story. It is — but only to a certain extent, depending on which version you’re reading. Our version deals more with the human elements of […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 16, 2007

Enjoy the Silence

By Shanon Shah The semi-autobiographical domestic drama by Nobel laureate Harold Pinter, Betrayal (staged at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre Pentas 2 between January 5th and 14th), starts off with a scene between a pair of former adulterous lovers, Emma and Jerry. From their conversation we eventually learn that, apart from their affair, another […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 16, 2007

X Marks the G-Spot

By Ann Lee When can you call yourself a playwright? After a three-act play? After one or two drinks? When you have an agent? When you’ve made theatre for years, but never sat down to scribble something solo? When you become the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia? These questions came to my mind as I signed […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 13, 2006

The 60 Second Plug: Integrated Expressions’ “Little Mission Impossible”

By Juliet Jacobs Little Mission Impossible: should we Expect the Impossible? Tell us more about the musical. Little Mission Impossible makes the impossible possible on stage. It’s a children’s musical adventure that sees the journey of Ai Ya-Ya, a little pixie, in a quest to maintain the colours of the world. She runs into numerous […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 12, 2006

The 60 Second Plug: PingStage’s Theatre Carnival — Monodrama 2006

By Juliet Jacobs ‘Three girls in a play’ is your tagline for the event — sounds naughty. Tell us more! Who came up with the idea for this monodrama and seminar? The three girls: Seok Chin, Felix, Oi Min — and I. In Chinese-language theatre it’s hard to find men. Women are the main force […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 20, 2006

Stiff Monster

By Amir Hafizi Watching the KLPac production of Frankenstein in Love, I was somehow reminded of a play I saw at a high-school theatre competition about 10 years back. It was a staging of Keris Laksaman Bentan, a popular text about the assassination of Sultan Mahmud. Everyone had packets of rose syrup hidden under their […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 9, 2006

Free To Speak

By Kee Thuan Chye Let’s start with a number of disclaimers: first, I’m writing as an individual and not as a representative of any organisation; second, I’ll be talking about freedom of expression and culture, specifically relating to the performing arts in Malaysia; third, there’s nothing I will tell you that you don’t already know. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 19, 2006

Lepidopterists – the Musical

By Jess C Those who are familiar with classical Chinese literature will have heard of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the legendary, ill-fated ‘Butterfly Lovers’ of yore. When Dama Orchestra — almost synonymous for their high quality and unique presentations of Shanghai-style shi dai qu — decided to stage this well-loved tale as the group’s […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 17, 2006

Pak Saari Abdullah, 1952 – 2006

By Prof Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof I first met Saari when, in early February 1975, I started research work for a proposed doctoral dissertation on Mak Yong in Kelantan. I was in Kota Bharu, in the Jalan Bayam house of the late Khatijah binti Awang, and I was looking for a field assistant. Khatijah, the legendary Mak […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 12, 2006

Assembling Performance Virgins

By Zedeck Siew Recently we called on Thailand to ask about the coup. From a condo on the Gulf, by the beach, Rey Buono told us that he himself had phoned Bangkok the night General Boonyaratglin seized power. “My friend said: ‘What coup?’” Rey says. “I’m calling it the Jim Thompson coup — smooth as […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 4, 2006

Pillage the Village

By Amir Hafizi The programme leaflet for Anak Bulan Di Kampong Wa’ Hassan, staged recently at KLPac, has a sort of disclaimer. Roughly translated, it says: ‘Far from a romantic lament about a nostalgic Malay kampung, the play is an exploration of the true value of a kampung filled with original characters; and the true […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 27, 2006

Domestic Stress Test

By Zedeck Siew At the door to Laut Lebih Indah Dari Bulan, which ran between September 7 – 10 at the Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Stor Teater, one is given a slip of paper titled Stress Test: the printout contains eight floral configurations, subtly coloured to appear — as the eye moves across the page […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 20, 2006

Questioning Mark

By Benjamin McKay In an attempt to uncover the mysteries of creative practice in Malaysia, and discern what makes Malaysian artists unique to their time and place, I plan to interview an array of local cultural practitioners over the next year. I begin this enquiry with a conversation with Mark Teh. Mark, 25, has been […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 14, 2006

The 60 Second Plug: The Shape of Things

By Juliet Jacobs Shed some light on the play for us Well, it’s about art and how far a person is willing to go for it. It also questions art and brings up interesting points about the negative and positive sides of it. Why Neil Labute? Why ‘The Shape of Things’? When we initially came […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 7, 2006

The Scenic Bridge of Ipoh

By Nigel Skelchy There is always that moment of trepidation when a curtain rises on a musical for the first time. If the impact of the first scene is less than a sonic boom, it muffles the rest of the musical. What more an all Malaysian musical written by two untried and untested neophytes? It […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 24, 2006

Bohemian Academy

By CH Loh Long long ago in a galaxy far far away there was a land whose people enjoyed a good twist or two, and whose womenfolk wore tight fitting kebayas that accentuated their curves, and original songs and movies were peppered with naughty fun. It was a bygone era — when it was all […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 24, 2006

Baggage Check

By Amir Hafizi Break-ing (Ji Po) Ka Si Pe Cah, at first glance, looks like an ‘Osman, Mutusamy, Lai Kok Seng’ production. You know, a forced ‘muhibbah’ project. Just like in those text books we used in school. They even mention it in their website, touting it as an “inter-cultural collaboration” between three theatre directors […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 22, 2006

Dream Merchants

By Sonia Randhawa Inter-ethnic understanding is a high priority for many groups, and National Service doesn’t really seem to be working. The Jumping Jellybeans, however, have begun a project with much younger children, which contains the potential to help cultural sharing between children of different language groups in Kuala Kubu Bharu. And National Service doesn’t […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 11, 2006

You Must Go On

By Philip Koh This double review first appeared in Sunday Star, Aug 1998. Damned To Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) By James Knowlson Samuel Beckett – The Last Modernist By Anthony Cronin Samuel Beckett is a master of 20th Century literature. He straddles world literature casting his influence beyond his Anglo-Irish, French, German […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 2, 2006

Tidak Seniman Hilang di Dunia

By Yati Hj Kaprawi Melalui seni, U-Wei Haji Saari sentiasa meneroka alam pemikiran baru. Isu-isu dan sifat manusia yang kompleks seperti identiti sesuatu bangsa pun dipaparkannya. “Kalau takut meneroka, baik saya berhenti berfikir,” ujarnya. Kali ini U-Wei mencabar lagi isu identiti bangsa dengan pementasan barunya bertajuk Wangi Jadi Saksi. Ia mengisahkan peristiwa bersejarah dalam dunia […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 27, 2006

Intimacy

By Jo Kukathas The following was first presented at Utih… Celebrating Krishen, 28 Apr 2006, at Sek San’s Gallery. It has been said that when you write a biography of a friend you must do it as if you are taking revenge for him. The same must go for eulogies. And while it was never […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 27, 2006

Congratulations, Dato’ Krishen Jit!

By Kakiseni So the Yang di Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, on the occasion of his 84th birthday, handed out 1441 royal gifts in the forms of titles and certificates to outstanding Malaysians, as is his wont (last year, he gave one to Datuk Faridah Merican, much to our collective delight). Not that a mere […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 27, 2006

Artistic Intifada

By CH Loh The Wall: Breaking point Representing the concrete wall being built to fence off the West Bank from the rest of Israel are seven huge grey vertical panels on the stage at the Drama Centre, Singapore. These panels dwarf the seven characters whose lives revolve around the towering slabs. But just when their […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 4, 2006

Free Winnie

By Ruhayat X “Apa erti semua tadi tu?” kata makcik yang telah mencegatkan dirinya bertentangan dengan aku tu. “Saya… tak berapa faham.” Aku gunakan terma “makcik” tu in a loose sense, sebab sebenarnya kalau aku berselisih dengan dia di jalanan and I didn’t know she had a grown-up daughter, hiris pergelangan tangan aku takkan sangka […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 29, 2006

Alien Nations

By CH Loh We learn something new everyday. I for example learnt that the new politically correct term for foreign workers — you know, the people who tend our kids and clean our homes 24 hours a day (if possible, if not then at least 18 hours), clean the streets, serve us drinks at the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 20, 2006

Unequal Partnership

By J-Teoh Are double bills the fashion nowadays? Directed by up-and-coming 20-year old director Goh Fung Shuan, Noise Performance House’s double bill Brothers. Beloved kicked off to a colourful and flamboyant start with Brothers. A coming-of-age tale of two orphan boys, not actually brothers, who leave their welfare home on a journey into the world, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 17, 2006

No Higher Love

By J-Teoh Spending a Friday night out with two unmarried, middle-aged Englishmen who still live with their mothers is not my idea of a fun date, but apparently personal ads can be deceiving, especially in the case of Graham Whittaker and Gus Gascoigne, at the Actors Studio Greenhall, Penang. Still, you would have to play […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 7, 2006

The Awards FAQ

By Kakiseni As we go crazy dealing with the DBKL, the VVIP, and the scariest of them all, the RSVPs, while preparing for a glitzy, controversial and memorable 4th Annual BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2005, we take time out to answer some Frequently Asked Questions. What are the new awards this year? Best Actor in […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 5, 2006

Pent-up House

By Sherry Siebel Maybe far too many evenings spent captive watching fusty, antediluvian and embarrassingly démodé British Airways Playhouse productions over the years in the name of journalism have caused me to despise them more than a little. They’re always the goddamn same. They’re always mawkish farces, which means that the usual accelerating kerfuffle arising […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 25, 2006

Instant Latte Theatre

By Lainie Yeoh ROJAK! ended with a shower of empty Marlboro boxes, several successfully aimed at my head — and one actually thwacked me in the eye. I reckon this is the only show I’ve been to where the reviewer was attacked before the review was written. ROJAK!, presented by The Oral Stage with their […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 20, 2006

The Pied Piper of Penang

By J-Teoh The first question Janet Pillai asks me when she sees me is: “Have you finished your folio yet?” Even now, she is moving very fast around the music practice area of Universiti Sains Malaysia ABM-AMBRO, sternly asking the same of every young-ish looking person (and unsuspecting members of the press). “Haveyoufinishedyourfolioyet? Haveyoufinishedyourfolioyet? No, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 30, 2006

Putting the “Ha” Back in Harold Pinter

By Ruhayat X The Homecoming, typical of Harold Pinter’s plays, starts out innocently enough, with a normal domestic scene between an old man and his son. It is not long, however, before you start realising that, as it is with life, what you see on the surface is not all that it seems. The plot […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 29, 2006

Project Runaway

By Antares M! The Opera, staged at Istana Budaya from Thu 23 Mar to Sun 2 Apr 2006, is arguably the most ambitious and esoteric piece of music theatre ever conceived and produced in Malaysia. I’m awed by Saidah Rastam’s perseverance and stamina, and gratified that after such a protracted incubation, her monumental vision has […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 28, 2006

THE 2005 NOMINEES!

By Kakiseni dance nominees BEST GROUP PERFORMANCE Prize of RM1,000 and Tumasek Pewter Trophy En-Body-Men, choreographed by Wei Jun, presented by WJ Powerhouse “Varsha” choreographed by Umesh Shetty, in Inside Out, presented by Inner Space “Evolutions” choreographed by Lim Gaik Choo, in Malaysian Dance Festival 2005: Traditional Dance Night, presented by the Ministry of Culture, […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 23, 2006

Saidah! the Phenomenon

By Jenny Daneels “Next time I say I want to do something like that [M! the Opera], please bang me on the head, will you?” says Saidah Rastam. We are in Scat Productions. Her show opens in two weeks and she is busy putting together a tape to make up for the fact that many […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 18, 2006

The Princess who Went Up a Mountain and Came Down a Hit

By Shanon Shah Judging from the last two big budget Malaysian musicals I caught at Istana Budaya – Hang Li Po & Rubiah the Musical – I was ready to dismiss its latest offering, Puteri Gunung Ledang the Musical, as yet another patronising and jingoistic production that is spending a lot of money and clichéd […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 17, 2006

The Mat Salleh Speaks Malay

By Sherry Siebel Tiara Jacquelina has always wanted to play the immortal enchantress-princess of Mount Ophir, that most mystical creature of all Malay legend. And what Tiara wants, Tiara gets. So when the bijoux gem that is Puteri Gunung Ledang was released by Enfiniti Productions with great pomp and circumstance in 2004, the resultant recherché […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 7, 2006

Aunties In Agony

By Rebecca Duckett Penang playwright Mark Beau de Silva must have found his latest women characters from the Sunday market crowd: ordinary women who come along to the SPCA fair volunteering behind the stalls, women chatting on the benches along Gurney Drive in the mornings. They are not young but are dressed up gaily, with […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 3, 2006

Teater Saat Akhir

By Zulkifli Mohamad Saya menjadi Lipas Kudung selama 5 hari kerana nak menonton Teater Melayu. Apa tidaknya, ada tiga festival yang berlangsung dalam minggu yang sama: Festival Teater Wilayah Persekutuan 2005 di Taman Budaya Kuala Lumpur pada 17-21 Disember Empat Drama di Stor Teater DBP pada 19-22 Disember Minggu Teater ASK yang menampilkan empat monolog […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 9, 2006

Murder Most Foul (Can you smell the belacan?)

By Meng Yew Choong This is another whodunit for the big stage. Though it was presented to Singaporeans for the third time (in 1997 and 1998 at the Jubilee Hall of the Raffles Hotel), the difference this time was that it took place within the magnificent confines of the sophisticated Esplanade Theatre. Being my first […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 15, 2005

The Taste of Death

By Christina Orow We’ve all heard about the unusual delicacy that is the Shakespeare speech. Breaking through the initial layer of incomprehension is like getting over the initial revulsion to the smell of durian, until we take that first bite that sends us over to the other side. In a moment, all resistance to the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 7, 2005

A Theatrical Bermuda Triangle

By Jeremy Mahadevan German playwright Falk Richter’s Electronic City is meant to be chaotic or, as the programme would have it, “a panic-stricken farce from the inner world of contemporary busyness.” Consequently it’s full of people running around, bumping into each other, falling over and booming from the rooftops. And it has the potential to […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 10, 2005

Happy Divorce Anniversary!

By Cyril Wong On a stage with only four scaffolding structures and two foldable screens, four actors come on to commemorate 50 years of the Islamic Republic of Malaya and Singapore’s National Day in 2007. This is a scenario dreamed up by two playwrights (Jit Murad from Malaysia and Haresh Sharma from Singapore) with two […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 22, 2005

A Night in the Life of Gavin Yap

By Kakiseni Paparazzi Despite the intense stage presence that he has, I must admit, it is a relief to watch a Gavin Yap play in which he is not present on stage, and you aren’t subjected to his usual bag of hyper tricks. Though he seems a little nervous about it, the Boy Wonder is […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 9, 2005

Waiting for Kok Man

By Jerome Kugan Written in 1952, at a time when Europe was intellectually paralysed by World War Two, Les Chaises (The Chairs), by the Theatre of the Absurd’s posterboy Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994), conveys the horrors of the dehumanisation of the individual and the community in Europe as a result of unchecked modernisation. Its Absurdist depiction […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 7, 2005

The Aw-Shucks Couple

By Jeremy Mahadevan If you go to the Kakiseni.com event listing for Romi and Joolee dan lain-lain and read the user comments, you’ll find people have been largely appreciative of the play, the only point of contention being a sort of mini Omar Sharif-Barbra Streisand controversy involving some silly hang-ups certain people have about a […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 25, 2005

Why did the Chicken stay in the Middle of the Road?

By Caroline Marshall “Is it a hen?? Or is it a rooster??” What would YOU do if you find a strange looking chicken amongst your own brood? Especially one that looks like a hen AND a rooster? Well, two children did, and they decided to take the problem to the learned, bijak-pandai members in their […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 25, 2005

The Long And Winding Road

By Pia Zain & Simon Hegarty Pia: Athol Fugard is one of the great playwrights of our time. He has sketched the South African story – from apartheid to freedom – unlike any other. His writing talks about our interconnections as human beings, and it demands to be listened to, felt, experienced. A Fugard play […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 17, 2005

Canto Bard

By Pia Zain & Simon Hegarty It was an experience and an education for us (Simon and Pia) who don’t understand any Chinese languages to watch the recent production of The Taming of the Shrew. The play had been adapted by director Ling Tang and her cast into Cantonese, and then retranslated back into English […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 16, 2005

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Adaptation

By Lim How Ngean Adaptation mania has hit Chinese-language theatre recently. Starting with the concurrent showings of Lee Swee Keong’s Woman Born From Dragon and the Dramatic Art Society’s Blanche in July, it continued with the Cantonese Bard offering The Taming of the Shrew earlier this month at The Actors Studio Bangsar while Loh Kok […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 11, 2005

Matinya Seorang Petani

By Zulkifli Mohamad Sewaktu melangkah masuk ke Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, lampu panggung masih terang dan kita seperti dilindungi lelangit kayu yang bertaburan lampunya seperti bintang-bintang. Sekilas terkenang saya pada sajak Usman Awang “Bintang Di Langit Zaman” yang saya baca sewaktu di sekolah rendah. Drama Musikal Uda dan Dara pula adalah asalnya sebuah sajak Usman Awang […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 4, 2005

Back to Africa

By Kakiseni Rey Buono chides me: “If you had told me you were going to do an interview about my opinion on the KL arts scene, I would have said I don’t have the time.” But in spite of his obvious disappointment with the insularity of my tabloid questions, he kindly indulged. Until not long […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 19, 2005

Fine Young Communists

By Kam Raslan As the elderly leader of the now defunct Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) points out in his book, Alias Chin Peng: My Side of History – History (with a capital H) is written by the victors. Chin Peng writes, “History is the written testimony – or interpretations – of events by those […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 12, 2005

Farewell My Contemporary

By Kakiseni Saidah Rastam is not one of Malaysia’s best kept secrets. Her cutting-edge music has a reputation beyond our borders. She has been invited for the second time by Goh Boon Teck, director of Singapore’s Toy Factory Theatre Company, to compose with his company. This time, it is for a contemporary theatre piece based […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • June 3, 2005

Quality Time

By Lee Jia Ping My mom and I were watching We Are Family, the third and most recent instalment of Chinese-language theatre series Chup! Take A Break by Need Entertainment. In the middle of the first sketch, a ‘silent’ play in which two actors playing a mommy monkey and a dying baby monkey were slowly […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 20, 2005

Moral Police in French Clothing

By Toni Kasim Talk about a cruel coincidence. While the cast of Tartuffe was preparing for opening night at The Actors Studio Bangsar, a woman in Cheras was being robbed at knifepoint in her home by a group of five men and women. The next day’s article, ‘Group using religion to rob’, said that the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 19, 2005

You Are Not Alone

By Vanessa Surian The title didn’t inspire much confidence. A flaccid attempt at humour which I imagined would be replicated throughout the production. “eight” was fine. No bitchy remarks there. But: “(insert witty tagline here)”? Erm, I promised myself I wouldn’t do this but – (insert bitchy comment here). Nevermind. Whats in a name right? […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • May 3, 2005

Perhaps Think A Little

By Sharon Bakar Life Sdn Bhd 3 began with each member of the cast of thirteen bounding forward to introduce themselves and declare proudly, to audience cheers, “I am Malaysian!” National identity has, of course, to embrace ethnic and sexual diversity – there is no such thing as the “average” Malaysian. Yet you have to […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 29, 2005

Icon, Guru, Beloved Friend

By Kathy Rowland I came late to Krishen Jit. Having grown up with Talking Drama with Utih, his review column in the NST which ran from 1972 to 1994, however, I felt I knew all there was to know about him years before we actually became friends. He was after all a towering figure in […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 29, 2005

Experiment in Bronze

By Antares On opening night of Monkey Business, director Krishen Jit wasn’t sitting like a stone deity in the foyer with an inscrutable look on his face, as is his wont. He was recuperating from another cardiac arrest in the National Heart Institute. However, those involved with Five Arts Centre seemed quite cheerful as they […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • April 7, 2005

They’ve Theatres, We’ve Monuments

By Anne James At the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards 2003 last year, sitting next to Ghafir Akbar, a fellow nominee for the Best Solo Performer, I was preparing myself to, basically, not win. So when my name was announced, I didn’t hear it at first. I only realised it when my husband Siva turned towards […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • March 10, 2005

To Bitch or Not to Bitch

By Jit Murad In the current spirit of fulsome, if not full, disclosure I should admit to a couple of things. First is that Faridah Merican had originally cast me as Hamlet in this play but during rehearsals we had a heated disagreement over padded leotards and Gavin Yap immediately swooped in to replace me. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 14, 2005

Our Hamlet

By Jit Murad First of all I’ll assume that the reader isn’t a seni kaki and wouldn’t mind a refresher synopsis of the play. By all means, please, if you already know the story, scroll straight down. If you don’t know it, let me say that Hamlet is a damn good yarn, although for the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • February 14, 2005

Si Pelarian dan Si Penderma

By Mislina Mustaffa Hannah & Hanna. Kedua-duanya remaja 16 tahun. Usia yang ingin keluar dari kepompong rutin keluarga. Usia di mana persahabatan adalah alternatif kebersamaan yang sangat penting. Dan usia yang kritikal dalam pembentukan psikologi dan sahsiah diri. Hannah dan Hanna bertemu dalam kekalutan pencarian identiti. Hanna, si pelarian Kosovo ingin mencari tempat berlindung untuk […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • January 13, 2005

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 30, 2004

Saboturg

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 16, 2004

Theatertubbies

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 9, 2004

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 9, 2004

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 […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • December 3, 2004

Cruelty to Audiences

By Pang Khee Teik The World is a Comedy for Those who Think… Instant Café Theatre Road Show Presented by Instant Café Theatre Oct 27 -28, 2004, Grand Plaza Parkroyal Fifteen years of laughter packed into one night can be tiring to the jaw. After the dinner at the hotel Ballroom was cleared away and […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 25, 2004

Empire Writes Back

By Jerome Kugan Dear Mumsy, You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve seen here in the big city. KL-ites (as they’re not so fond of calling themselves) are always on the move, always crossing each other’s paths, dredging up some kind of muddy puddle – just like the city’s namesake! And I’m caught up […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 24, 2004

Supermarket Theatre

By Pia Zain My late father was a strong supporter of the arts, and my family heritage has always included some interaction with the creative space. I should probably state upfront that I feel passionately about arts and culture, and creative expression. I should also tell you that I was a theatre producer, and co-founded […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 18, 2004

Five for Fighting

By Lim How Ngean The week-long national Malay Language theatre festival that filled the auditorium at Malaysian Tourism Centre last month to the brim has had a long history that dates back to the 70s. Organised by the then Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the event was formerly known as Pesta Tarian dan Drama […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 17, 2004

A Malaysian Jew in New York

By Pang Khee Teik When asked his age, Petaling Jaya boy Richard Chang, now a business news editor at New York’s Reuters as well as an Off-Broadway actor, says, “… if you publicize it, I may never getto play an ingenue or an old man again…” He shouldn’t have to worry. After all, he has […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • November 4, 2004

The Prophet’s Descendant and The Mystery Woman

By Shanon Shah Given the level of what passes for popular discussion on literature in this country, I am all for efforts to make literature accessible to a wider, especially younger, audience. I remember the days when I had to read Arena Wati, A. Samad Said and Usman Awang for my Kertas Kefahaman Bahasa Malaysia. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • October 6, 2004

Angry Ghosts Festival

By Kelvin K. Wong Having been disappointed by two out of three plays from The Actors Studio’s Malaysian Playwright Series, I admit to being quite sceptical about the fourth instalment. Gavin Yap, who pioneered the series with his not-that-sweet Sweet Nothing, has just staged his second play at The Actors Studio Bangsar (Sep 2 – […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 22, 2004

Homo-patriotic

By Alfian Sa’at Heard of the pink dollar? It’s the latest trans-national currency. It’s not actually pink in colour, and denominations don’t come in the form of queer three dollar bills, but the purported ability of the pink dollar to cross territorial borders makes the Euro seem like last century’s news. Some people consider the […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 15, 2004

Brickfields Brat

By Zedeck Siew I find Childhood Reminiscence a generally enjoyable pastime, being someone who was sniggering about sex not too long ago. Brickfields… Now & Then was surprising for the same reason: I saw 53-year-old Thor Kah Hoong hop about, flail his arms, stand on a chair, squat on the floor, put his head in […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • September 6, 2004

Theatre of Experimental Sermons

By Toni Kasim In case you were wondering … demi Zaitun… is neither about olives nor a woman called Zaitun. Written and directed by Sasterawan Negara Noordin Hassan, the play derives its title from a Qur’anic verse – incidentally named The Fig – which begins: “By the Fig and the Olive… “. The sermonic thrust […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • August 21, 2004

Penang Pedagogues

By Meilu Ho “School does not let us scream, run whenever we like,” says agitated sixth-former Johann Dzulkifil. “We have to be… civilised.” Throwing decorum out the classroom window, he exploded in an uncivilised outburst of creativity when he took part in Young Theatre – Penang’s recent work-in-progress showcase, The Dragon Who Lost a Whisker. […]

  • Azwan Ismail
    Azwan Ismail
  • July 28, 2004