When: July 19-Aug 26/ Where: Lot’ng Arts Space, 32-2, Jalan USJ 10/1E , Subang Jaya
What Am I A Bloody Banyan Tree? – July 19-29
Fall of the House of Usher – Aug 2-12
Cikgu Disiplin Sekolah Aku – Aug 16-26
Tickets at RM43/RM33 (with concessions). #wearetheatrethreesixty018 Festival Pass for all three shows at RM99. Flat rate ticket of RM33 for Tuesday and Wednesday, midweek shows. Visit http://upstairsatlotng.peatix.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“AS the nation basks together in the new dawn of #MalaysiaBaru, the time is ripe for collaboration,” says theatre director Chris Ling.
Offering the annual theatrethreesixty festival, starting July 19, Ling says: “The festival celebrates the work of a smorgasbord of Malaysian theatre talent, both experienced and emerging who come from a mashup of both local English and Bahasa Malaysia theatre communities.
“For us, it is a definitive step forward for theatrethreesixty as we continue our search for what constitutes Malaysian Theatre.”
On the bill are back-to-back presentations of intimate close-up theatre over the six-week festival.
Ling, the artistic director of the collective of playmakers, will offer a reworked version of “What am I, a Bloody Banyan Tree?”, a monologue written and performed by Marina Tan as well as two inter-linked Bahasa Malaysia plays together entitled Cikgu Disiplin Sekolah Aku by local playwrights Khairunazwan Rodzy (of Revolution Stage) and Khairi Anwar (of Anomalist Production).
Both these plays deal with educators. In “What am I, a Bloody Banyan Tree?”, which made its stage debut in 2016, follows the journey of Mimi, a teacher who wants to inspire her students but is running low on hope and faith herself. And what’s up with the tree?
In Cikgu Disiplin Sekolah Aku, disciplinary teacher Cikgu Mail acts under the order of his principal to discipline, and even dismiss students with disciplinary problems or even bad academic grades. The school would then rise through the ranks, because only the good students with good grades would get assessed, without being brought down by the bad grades from the problematic ones. At least, that’s the idea.The students start rebel. Who is right? Who is wrong?
Theatrethreesixty partner Nicole-Ann Thomas, who was Boh Cameronian “Best of 2017” director nominee for The Pillowman, will helm a physical theatre adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher by Tarrant Kwok.
The play is a blend of physical theatre, best experienced up close, blending words, movement and music to create a twisted journey into the mind of a mysterious house and the equally enigmatic, yet unsettling residents therein.
“This is the first time a local theatre company is presenting work that is responding directly or indirectly to the conception of #malaysiabaru in May this year.
“Cikgu Disiplin Sekolah Aku is theatrethreesixty’s very first production in Bahasa Malaysia, while ‘What am I, a Bloody Banyan Tree?’ is being presented in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Hokkien.”
For Ling, this fourth instalment of the festival is also about collaborations.
“While theatrethreesixty’s mandate to present work that is contemporary and relevant still remains, the birth of #malaysiabaru heralds the perfect time for collaborative work.
“Multi-lingual, multi-cultural work that speaks of the Malaysia we know and love will see our audiences continue to grow alongside a new appreciation for the performing arts.”
Theatre is not an experience reserved for the elite, says Ling. “Give theatre a chance. You are missing out on a unique, irreplaceable experience at the theatre. Theatre can be as life-changing as you allow it to be.”
Perhaps it’s time for new experiences with a new Malaysia by dropping by this young collective’s festival!