PETALING JAYA: Kee Thuan Chye’s epic production “Swordfish + Concubine” will be showing in Kuala Lumpur this November as part of efforts to raise funds for a former RTM Orchestra conductor who is currently suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The family of Ooi Eow Jin, 78, is dealing with a double blow as his 53-year-old son also recently underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour.
“Swordfish + Concubine”, a play based on the classic Malay Annals, was one of the top five entries in the International Playwriting Festival 2006 in the UK.
It will be staged at Pentas 1 of the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) from Nov 2 to 5.
The play tells the story of a young boy who saves ancient Singapore from an attack by swordfish, and a smart and spirited concubine who is sentenced to death by impalement.
Kee, who is the writer, producer and director, brings the tale to life with non-stop drama, humour, music and traditional elements such as silat and wayang kulit.
“It even contains a bitter-sweet love story and a sweet-and-sour love story!” he said.
The play stars some of Malaysia’s biggest stage performers such as Na’a Murad, Sandra Sodhy, Qahar Aqilah, Alfred Loh, Hana Nadira, Arief Hamizan, Amanda Ang, Bella Rahim, Gregory Sze, Iefiz Alaudin, Bright Ong and 12-year-old Joel Timothy Low.
The English version was staged twice in Singapore, in 2008 and 2011, while the Mandarin translation was shown at klpac last year.
Kee said he was excited that the play was finally going to be staged in Malaysia in its original English version.
“It is, after all, a play about Malaysia and Malaysians,” he said.
“Apart from making people think, the play was written to conjure the magic of theatre.
“It is full of spectacle, humour, mind and heart. That’s what I think theatre should be.
“I hope people will come to see it and appreciate it.”
Kee is best known for his plays “1984 Here and Now” and “We Could **** You, Mr Birch”. Both were successfully staged in 1985 and 1994 respectively.
Tickets for “Swordfish + Concubine” are going for RM95, RM75 and RM40 (for students and disabled customers).
Online bookings can be made at http://www.ticketpro.com.my.
The box office number is 03-40479000. For groups of 10 or more, customers are advised to contact Cathy Chin at 011-26262744.
More information is available at the event’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/1377125642357277/.
Enquiries can also be sent to [email protected]