Growing older is certainly not a piece of cake. This saying takes on new meaning in the upcoming play Gadis Jalan Burmah, which will be showing at Kotak, Five Arts Centre, Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur, starting April 6.
Directed by Ashraf Zain (Projek Disco Baldi) and written by Redzha Minhat, this one-woman comedy, featuring New York-trained KL-based actress Farah Rani, is the tale of 42-year old Kartini Shuib, who decides to bake her own cake on her birthday.
While doing so, however, she contemplates whether to to go out with an insurance salesman named Kassim Rahman, as suggested by her mother.
Things become complicated, however, as memories return to haunt her: that of a Chinese pilot, a veterinarian from Universiti Putra Malaysia, an American expat and her own Mak Long Piah.
Does all of this mean anything? Or is it merely a sign that she is running out of time?
Gadis Jalan Burmah is the second English play written by Redza, and is supported by the Five Arts Centre. It will be performed in a mix of colloquial English and Malay.
In discussing the character of Kartini, actress Farah admits she’s “a larger than life woman”, who is quite a challenge to play.
With a recent appearance at group comedy show Late Night Improv with AIIA in KL, it looks like she’s already been warming up for this comedic role.
It’s a different side of Farah’s acting. She was also part of the cast of the Jo Kukathas-directed, Alfian Sa’at-written Nadirah, a tale of religious conflict between mother and daughter, which played at the Festival Tokyo last November.
Right now, Farah is on full-on handbag-totting Kartini-mode in Gadis Jalan Burmah.
“She’s quite a character. Unapologetically loud and occasionally rude. But in saying that, as she is so different from myself, for this role, it’s been quite liberating, actually. She’s so self-assured and yet also very vulnerable. I think what makes her fun to play is the confidence she has in herself,” explains Farah about her challenge on stage with Gadis Jalan Burmah.
“She will say what she wants, without a filter. She doesn’t conform to society’s expectations of her. Life knocks her off her feet but she never stays down for very long. She’s incredibly tenacious.”
Gadis Jalan Burmah will be showing at Kotak, Five Arts Centre, 27, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur from April 6 to 9. Showtimes are 8.30pm, with an extra 3pm show on April 9. Tickets are RM30 (regular) and RM20 (students). Limited audience capacity, for further enquiries and bookings, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 603-7725 4858. Facebook: Five Arts Centre.