GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA – In the third week of the annual George Town Festival, we go full speed ahead into theatrical productions, with several theatre companies from both Malaysia and the world coming together to present some unique stories that utilise the magic of the medium to create unforgettable experiences:
Presented by The Temple of Arts, Under the Kayon Tree features some of Malaysia’s top musicians and performers as they tell traditional Malaysian folklore, narrated by the inimitable Shantini Venugopal, with music composed by the award-winning Jyotsna Prakash. The show brings Malaysian legends to life, telling tales of Puteri Hang Li Po, Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Sulatn Parameswara and Mahsuri, each carrying thought provoking social messages, alongside dance and theatre to support the stories.
Tehran’s The Hole In The Wall Theater Group present the Southeast Asian premiere of We Cannot Talk About It, expressing the pain of silence and the melancholia of death as a family eats dinner and refuse to talk about Mehrnaz, killed as a result of rape. Through this dark, gripping production, director Jaber Ramezani explores the implications of an oppressive dictator in charge, and the pains of living under his thumb.
Based off the experiences of soldiers fighting on the frontlines of war, KaBooM: Stories From Distant Frontlines will introduce audiences to Burundi child soldier Fabrice, Majid, who fought for 10 years in Saddam Hussein’s army and 16 year old Ivor, who escaped the Holocaust to fight in the Pacific Islands along with a guardian monkey. Armed with projections, aerial work and a pulsating sound track, KaBooM’s vignettes are told through just one female performer, who will play the roles of companion, female characters such as the widow or absent lover, making for a familiar and ghostly tale of the damage, both collateral and direct, that war inflicts on all of us.
And finally, from Malaysia itself comes Singing to the Lions. Created by the Youth Community Arts Project, Singing to the Lions tells the tale of a girl from another world, trying to find out who she is. As she attempts to uncover the mystery behind the lions that keep appearing before her, in this journey of mystery, adventure and revenge.
Catch all four of these shows and more as the month long George Town Festival 2018 approaches its third week, and see how stories of all backgrounds and genres can be told in fantastic, gripping, unforgettable ways.
The 2018 George Town Festival runs from 4th August to 2nd September around various locations in George Town, Penang. For full programme lineup and tickets, visit their website here