A new immersive historical musical that turns the spotlight on Penang Hokkien high life and the George Town gang riots of 1867. Five strangers exploring death and mortality. A dying lady who finds the love of her life, only to be torn away from him. An old hotel in Seremban with deep and dark stories hidden behind its doors.
It looks like June has an exciting line-up of theatre shows on offer. You just need to find your fix.
Here’s 10 theatre and arts performances this month not to be missed:
An Evening With Friends
Venue: Theatre, DPAC, Petaling Jaya
June 8 and 9
There is always something interesting when music gets the East meets West treatment. This concert, featuring a series of concertos, pairs up Chinese traditional players with side of classical music. The Friends Of Strings Chamber, a local ensemble of string players, pianists and percussionists will collaborate with guzheng (Chinese zither) player Tiffany Lew, pipa (lute) player Teck Sing, erhu (Chinese fiddle) player Yen Jiun and Chinese soprano Evon Ng. Malaysia Century Chinese Orchestra’s music director Chong Koi Min is the guest conductor of the programme. FB: Friends of Strings Chamber.
Venue: Kotak, Five Arts Centre, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, KL
Many of us have experienced death in the family. Losing someone close to us, even a friend, has a way to remind us of our own mortality. Dust in an intimate exploration of mortality and how different people deal with it. This 90-minute piece of raw theatre is also driven by expressive visual and auditory montages, conceived through the stories, dreams and imaginations of the five performers. All of them have been deeply impacted by experiences and questions about death, grief, and ultimately, life. FB: Theatresauce.
Soorya India Festival 2019
Venue: Shantanand Auditorium, Temple Of Fine Arts, KL
For one night only, in aid of Cansurvive Centre Malaysia, the various Indian dance forms will take centre stage at Temple Of Fine Arts. The show’s line-up features a duet between Pallippuram Sunil (kathakali) and Paris Laxmi (bharatanatyam) and a kuchipudi recital by Reddy Lakshmi. Malaysian dancer Shalini will be performing a bharathanatyam work. FB: Soorya Malaysia.
Venue: Theatre, DPAC, Petaling Jaya
Chinese opera doyenne Kam Sin Kiew returns to the stage in an opera show called The War. The show, presented by Kam Sin Kiew Art Crew, is produced, composed, and performed by Kam. The plot: The Emperor of China grants two of his generals the East Coast and the West Coast respectively for their contributions to the empire. Before long, the Emperor and the two generals die, leaving their families with the vast lands. Both families live harmoniously in peace until a punishing drought hits the East Coast. After years of starvation and death, the East seeks help from the West, only to be rejected. Soon, a war ensues. More details: www.dpac.com.my.
Venue: Blackbox, Aswara, KL
This experimental theatre piece by degree students at Aswara takes a much-needed and fresh look at a city all too familiar to us – Kuala Lumpur. Beyond the rat race, it seeks to explore national issues, news headlines and developments that shape urban life. FB: dfkeyl.
Theatre In Hotel
Venue: Hotel Sun Lun Yik, Seremban, Negri Sembilan
June 21 and 22
There is nothing more exciting than a site-specific theatre performance. There is something primal and voyeuristic about the whole affair. This Theatre In Hotel performance takes place in various spots in an old hotel in Seremban. The new work by Pitapat Theatre looks at four different stories that explore humanistic themes. Martha Goes To Work is a physical comedy about living and working in the city. In Box, a man explores death, spirituality, loss and loneliness. A physical theatre piece called The One When He Was Late sees a spirit investigating his cause of death. Finally, there is A Grinder’s Diary, an almost Orwellian tale about the grinder, which is shaping us and eating up everything. FB: Pitapat Theatre.
Stories For Amah
Venue: Pentas 2, KLPac
The search for one’s identity and a sense of belonging is not something alien to many. Seventeen years ago, this play made its way to the Malaysian stage. It set out to talk about identity. This month, Stories For Amah by local playwright Mark Beau de Silva returns with an all new cast featuring Datuk Faridah Merican, Ho Lee Ching, Anrie Too, Grace Ng and Michael Chen. KLPac’s artistic director Joe Hasham revisits this work that examines what’s it like and what it means to grow up as a “lain-lain” in this country. The play centres on Ruth de Souza, a young Eurasian woman who is conflicted by the Chinese upbringing on her mother’s side and the Eurasian identity imposed on her by her father. More details: www.klpac.org.
Malaysia Relived: The Penang Riots
Venue: GMBB Gallery, Jalan Robertson, KL
Opulence, opals and opium. Travel back in time with Liver & Lung’s new immersive historical musical, which captures scenes of Penang Hokkien high life and the George Town gang riots of 1867. This three-act musical takes you on a time-bending journey to visit 19th century George Town. The show’s original music is inspired by Chinese opera and early cinema. Audiences are invited to dress in their best traditional wear, enjoy the kueh and witness Malaysian history unfold before their eyes. Starring Melissa Ong (Ola Bola fame) as Opal, Phraveen Arikiah as the Eunuch and Singaporean-based theatre and TV actress Cheryl Tan as Lady Hwang. FB: Liver And Lung Productions.
Venue: Pentas 1, KLPac
The Kuala Lumpur City Opera brings one of the most famous works by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi to life in this local staging of La Traviata. This epic love story revolves around Violetta and Alfredo. They fall deeply in love and move to the countryside together. The problem is Violetta suffers from a life-threatening illness. To make matters worse, Alfredo’s father Germont visits Violetta one day and asks her to break up with his son to preserve their family’s reputation. With a heavy heart, she agrees and ends her relationship with Alfredo, leaving him devastated. In her final days, Germont is overcome with guilt and tells his son to reunite with his true love. More details: www.klpac.org.
Monologues: Emily Of Emerald Hill
Venue: Play Haus Theatre, Pearl Point Shopping Gallery
Theatre veteran Chin San Sooi returns with a production featuring three monologue works. Pearlly Chua and Alvin Looi take turns as Emily, a Peranakan matriach, in Singaporean playwright Stella Kon’s Emily Of Emerald Hill and Alfred Loh sets out with monologues by William Shakespeare. Chua, who has played Emily countless times, reprises the role she knows all too well. FB: The Play Haus Malaysia.