Preview: Human+ by Khairul Kamsani

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Although it riffs on similar themes, SRT Resident Assistant Director Khairul Kamsani’s Human+ is not to be confused with the ongoing ArtScience Museum exhibition of the same name.

Human+ was first staged in Singapore in 2014, and will be returning this August with a brand new script. Touching on the subject of transhumanism technology and how the future lies in the amalgamation of man and machine, Human+ is a rare piece of original sci-fi theatre that feels more relevant than ever.

​Independently written, produced and directed by Khairul Kamsani and starring Shu Yi Ching, Mitchell Lagos, Jo Tan, Prem John and Remesh Panicker, Human+ follows the fictitious multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company Akamaicore as they continue their quest to “perfect humanity through technology”. Having already eradicated Malaria, developed stem cell regeneration and DNA augmentation, the final frontier remains cracking the code to immortality. Enter Dr. McCaine, CEO and top inventor of Akamaicore, whose all new invention the Head Drive creates the possibility of an eternal digital mind, a future where moralities are thrust into a seriously grey area…

We met up with Khairul himself to gain some insight into this bold, innovative new play. The young theatremaker graduated from Lasalle some years back, and after completing his residency with SRT this September, will be headed to London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama to pursue an MFA in directing.

Khairul explains that he only started planning for the restaging of Human+ last December, before he even realized that the ArtScience Museum would be doing an exhibition of the same name. Even though the two were separately conceived, their shared topic of transhumanism are still very much in conversation with each other. Ever the opportunist, Khairul then decided to do a mini collaboration with the ArtScience Museum, and is currently organizing a joint ticket giveaway on his Facebook page, as well as helping promote the exhibition by putting up some collaterals and marketing the exhibition as one ‘made’ by the CEO of the play’s fictitious pharmaceutical company at the Front of House during the show itself.

On whether Human+ would be employing razzle-dazzle, high tech elements, Khairul replied that it would actually be a very back to basics form of theatre, where he’s simplified the original monologue-heavy 2014 script, making it more plot driven and cutting down on the number of characters interacting in a two table two chair set up. Having worked on SRT productions such as Disgraced and Hand to GodKhairul has learnt a lot, focusing instead on the human elements of theatre, on character relationships and the way they interact with each other with snappier, more exciting scenes.

Khairul is still learning a lot in his journey as a theatremaker, and in a sense, Human+ will act as a kind of wayfinder for him to see how far he’s come since 2014. Khairul also plans on revisiting his 2015 play Discord of Discourse, about the failure of communications and semiotics, after he returns from his studies.

As a postmodern director, expect to see plenty of symbolism onstage and lots of deep philosophical topics being discussed. We’re excited to see where Khairul takes this idea, and find out just how far can man play God before dooming humanity, as we enter the terrifyingly possible near-future world of Human+. Stay tuned as well for an upcoming ticket giveaway on Bakchormeeboy to stand a chance to win tickets to catch the show!

Human+ plays from 30th August to 3rd September at the KC Arts Centre. Tickets available from SISTIC

Human+
When: 30th August – 3rd September (No show on the 1st September)
Where: KC Arts Centre

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