Touching lives through theatre with Chris Ling


When: Aug 23-24, three evening performances at 7pm, 8.30pm and 10pm

Where: Auditiorium, Level 3, Wisma MCA, Jalan Ampang

Tickets, at RM38, are on sale now at Book early to avoid disappointment as audience capacity is limited.

Call 03-2203 3979 for more information on the festival.

SITE-specific performance L5-7-44, specially devised by theatrethreesixty for the Blossom Arts Festival Malaysia, is an exploration of life and death as well as regrets and second chances, says its director Christopher Ling.

Christopher Ling, director

Christopher Ling, director

“It’s immersive in nature. The audience literally walks into the world of the cast and watches silently as they address these issues. Humanness is again called into question.”

Performed in English, Bahasa Malaysia and Mandarin, this original work by Penang-based playwright Yasmin Bathamanathan asks the universal question: how many of us truly can move on? Clinging to the past may be comforting, but skeletons are the least of the problems you can sometimes dig up, states the theatrethreesixty release.

“The themes contained within L5-7-44 are monumental in nature. Each and everyone of us as human beings will come face to face with our own mortality at some point in our lives. It is an inescapable fact of life.

“Loss and longing are also strong forces that many in the audience will chance upon in their explorations. Malaysians are known to be a very superstitious lot when it comes to matters of life and death so it will be interesting to see how they respond to L5-7-44,” says Ling, best known for staging “Angels in America” in Kuala Lumpur this year.

With a mature content advisory, “rated PG (13)”, audience members are also advised to wear comfortable shoes as they will be standing for most of the one-hour long performance.

“The production has been specifically written to be performed in the auditorium of Wisma MCA, which also happens to be the 600-seater balcony of the Dewan San Choon — a place of many a political rally and Christmas concert.

“The creation of the play has taken into consideration the physical setup of the venue and the interesting features that it offers for performance.

“We are asking audience members to wear comfortable shoes as they will be standing for most of the performance. The audience is encouraged to remain mobile throughout the one-hour performance, allowing their whims and fancies to dictate how they interface with the performance that is unfolding around them,” explains Ling, who was awarded the Anugerah Seni Negara’s (National Arts Awards’) Young Talent Award for Theatre Directing in 2009.

Ling points out that a show like this has to be plotted right down to the minute,  especially since it involves a non-linear narrative. The show, choreographed by Syaffiq Hambali, features Andy Poon, Mia Sabrina Mahadir, Ping Khoo, Syaffiq Hambali, Zulhusni Zamir with Anrie Too.

Next month sees Ling and the theatre collective opening Lot’ng, its new home in USJ Taipan, Subang Jaya, in conjunction with its annual #wearetheatrethreesixty arts festival.

The festival opens on Sept 21 with Rajiv Joseph’s “Guards At The Taj”, directed by Ling and theatrethreesixty’s debut for its new 40-seater Blackbox space.

Says Ling: “This year’s instalment runs for two weeks and features theatre in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin and Tamil.”

Nothing unusual for a theatre company that takes on experimental work with can-do courage.

The site-specific show L5-7-44 might just be another feather in its cap.


Cover pic: From left, Zulhusni Zamir, Syaffiq Hambali, Ping Khoo, Andy Poon & Mia Sabrina Mahadir

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