Imagine the capital city, 30 years into the future. What will Kuala Lumpur be like? Will there be a population overload? Will the city’s traffic jam problems be solved? What happens when there is more wealth than natural resources?
The possibilities are endless. You can just sit back and imagine away. Or you could go watch the theatre show 2080: A Day In Kuala Lumpur, which plays at the Kotak space, Five Arts Centre in KL, starting on Dec 7.
This experimental-minded production, which is supported by the Five Arts Centre, imagines a future Kuala Lumpur through the lens of consumerism, mortality, relationships and home.
As an edgy production, 2080: A Day In Kuala Lumpur promises nothing conventional. It will be delivered on stage using projections, lights, installations and sound. It marks the first collaboration between six artists, stage designers and theatre practitioners, namely Ali Alasri, Bryan Chang, Izzat Azmi, Syamsul Azhar, Woon Siew Yin and Zak Azrs.
The cast of collaborators, all in 20s, have worked – backstage – on numerous Five Arts Centre projects.
The production is set in 2080 – that’s a cool 100 years since the Internet was introduced to mankind and the birth of the information age.
In the digital age, how will communications and tech advances change the way we connect with friends, family members and neighbours? And how will these developments reshape community life?
For the script, there is enough reason to expect a solid narrative. The show is based on a short story written by Zak Azrs. The foundation for the production, on the other hand, was inspired by a crowd looking at the Musical Fountain in KLCC.
“They were looking at the lights, the water, the technology and the music, in amazement and taking photos of it. And I was thinking, there could be a theatre production like this, scripted,” says Syamsul.
“2080: A Day In Kuala Lumpur is also unique in that it will not feature actors on stage,” he adds.
Instead, it will explore storytelling through the technical medium, with its content expressed through audio narration, projections, manipulation of the set and stage, and more.
“It’s a different kind of theatre, to say the least,” says Syamsul.