Saturday, 6 June 2015

W!ld Rice's Another Country

Got myself a seat to the local (Malaysian) production of W!ld Rice's Another Country at DPAC on last night, which was also opening night.

Basically, the Malaysians perform text excerpts from Singapore (curated by Alfian Sa'at, directed by Jo Kukathas) and Ivan Heng directs the Singaporeans as they perform the excerpted texts from Malaysia (curated by Leow Puay Tin). 

The show was about 2.5 hours long with intermission. The Malaysians (Ghafir Akbar, Sharifah Amani, Anne James, Alfred Loh and Iedil Putra) had the first 90 minutes as they travelled through time. Some of the pieces I liked, others I could've done without. 

Before they let everyone out for intermission, the Singaporean cast (Sharda Harrison, Gani Karim, Lim Yu-Beng, Janice Koh and Siti Khalijah Zainal) played the "tikam-tikam" game with the audience, a game of chance that determines which pieces get performed in what order, with the first and last pieces already predetermined. I don't think I was the only one in the house happy to see that Jit Murad's Gold Rain and Hailstones was the first one drawn (Jit was also present, but I think he left before or after his play was covered).

They have to do as many as they can within ONE HOUR. Some of the titles I recognised (Gold Rain and Hailstones I saw back in 2006 and I caught the most recent run of Emily of Emerald Hill, others sounded vaguely familiar to me). They only got as far as #20 (Who's Bad?) before time ran out. I probably would've liked to see the remaining pieces, especially Poultry Tales: The Chef's Secret, but oh well.  They have the entire list in the programme (RM5), which was the only reason why I caved and got one during intermission.

Show ended pretty late, a little after 11.30 p.m..? All in all, I thought it was okay. though you might need some caffeine before you go in to it. 

Managed to snap this during intermission
They have to do as many as they can in ONE hour.
It runs until the 14th, and then the production moves on to Singapore, which starts there June 25th to July 11th. 

  • One of the (small) perks of going on opening night is the who's who of the local arts scene that turn up to "support" the production, people whom I've seen and heard over the years on various mediums. If I name dropped everyone I saw, it would take too long.  
  • It rained during the evening rush hour, but had receded by the time I left the house. For the time I left the house, I was glad that I made it okay and early enough. 
  • If you can get to the restrooms fast enough, DO IT!!
  • They finally started charging for parking at Empire Damansara: RM1 for first hour, RM1 an hour after that on weekdays; on weekends, the first hour's RM2.