Tales from the Scars
(Age restriction: Only for 15 years and above)
When: Aug 16-18, 8.30pm with 3pm matinees on the weekend
Where: Pentas 2, KLpac
Tickets: RM45/ RM39 (early bird promotion ending Aug 1)
Call KLpac Box Office at +60 3 4047 9000
FA Abdul’s Tales from the Scars features 10 monologues touching on different experiences and performed by distinctively different characters.
“The greatest appeal of the show would be the uncompromising humanity of every story that will stay with the audience for a long time to come,” says Fa, playwright and theatre producer.
“The stories are different, based on real world experiences that I have either gone through first hand, witnessed as a third person or intimately felt through research and reading.
Theatre-goers might recall her 2014 Tales from the Bedroom, and on to 2017’s Tales from the Mamak, all under her Big Nose Production theatre company.
“I wrote my first short play back in 2012 titled The Betrayal after attending a workshop by Alex Broun in the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. As the play went on to be one of the finalists in the Short+Sweet Festival Gala, I received great feedback and ultimately fell in love with the industry.
“I founded Big Nose Productions with my brother, Abdul Fazrul in the following year and had great success with two weekends of sold-out performances through my first full length play, In a Nutty Shell, directed by Matthew Koh.
“When Joe Hasham, the Artistic Director of the Short+Sweet Festival advised me to begin directing my own plays, I was unsure of my ability as I was very comfortable writing and staying away from the stage. However, after adding directing to my portfolio and winning the Festival Director Award (S+S KL) in 2014; Mercedes Benz Creative Excellence Award (S+S KL) in 2015; and Best Director (S+S Penang) in 2016, I was empowered to do more directing.
“Although my first love is writing, but I must say, I am beginning to love my role as a director very much. I gain so much pleasure in working with actors from different layers of the society especially newcomers.”
The award-winning writer is featuring an almost new line-up for the KLpac Tales from the Scars production with sophisticated professionals such as Chacko Vadaketh to recognisable faces in Short+Sweet Festival such as Sudhan Nair and Farisha Nadia, to explosive emerging talent from Penang such as Sharmila Kana and Karam Tab. Other cast members are Lenny Wan, Tilottama Pillai, Adilla Ismail, Caroline Yeoh and Sabrina Ameen.
“Many of the actors I use are also personal friends and family and so, in many ways I tell their stories which makes the characters they play even more convincing. For example, Sabrina Ameen who presents The Leftover about a young adult reminiscing her past growing up in a broken family also grew up in a household with divorced parents.”
The other monologues in the upcoming show include The Widower & His Pubic Hair, presented by Chacko, which is basically about a widower trying to get on with his life.
Sharmila’s Forbidden Fruit is about homosexuality while Yeoh offers Happily Unmarried dealing with a woman’s real worth.
Says Fa: “Ironically, my recent successes in comedic playwriting and directing made me pause and question my versatility. I wanted to showcase my ability to write on serious issues so that I avoid the risk of being typecast as a comedic writer.
“I am a storyteller and what is important to me is that I tell stories — be they funny, sad, dramatic, thought provoking or ordinary, all in an extraordinary way.
“I aim to create the impact of an intimate conversation where no sensory filters exist between the person telling the story (performer) and the persons listening to it (audience).
Everyone enjoys a good story which they could relate to and this is precisely what Tales from the Scars aims to achieve. With real-life human stories which reflects the audience and the lives of others in our society, one need not experience the narratives to feel for the characters in the monologue.”
Fa hopes to stage her works across the Causeway. “Contingent upon finding sponsors, I plan on presenting Sex in Georgetown City to a Singapore audience some time in 2020. This play which garnered much media coverage related to the unfortunate misunderstanding with some religious non-governmental organisations was staged as Rebound in Penang in April 2019, again to a sell-out audience. Many attendees felt the more open secular environment in Singapore may be more receptive to the staging of this popular play, keeping its original title.
“I am encouraged by the number of Malaysian theatre enthusiasts in Singapore, and in particularly folks from Penang who have been clamouring for a re-staging of this play on Singapore soil.”