This is going to be a quick review because I really wanted to post this two days ago but had no time to write.
Summary of this is that if you’re new to watching theatre in Malaysia, want something different and can take a joke, come and watch Short+Sweet Theatre Malaysia, happening this week till next.
I caught the First Week (next week there will be different shows) and I highly recommend catching this week’s one before they finish their run. Among the skits to look out for:
For a Malay play I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I do know is that the cat here is cute. The twist isn’t something you see coming from a mile away, which is a very nice touch compared to most Malaysian media. I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. On another note, this sketch was in Malay, and so if it’s not your first language you may find it hard to follow.
This was another Malay play that blew me away. The premise may be popular, but I loved how they tackled the question of sanity here. What impressed me most was the acting; I really got the sense that the prisoner knew he had been sentenced to death, but he was exhausted, somewhat, by the procedure involved. Easily one of my favourite plays.
Never have I seen the power of a child’s imagination portrayed so effortlessly, so realistically, so wonderfully ever. It’s a whole hodgepodge of pop culture references and one that’s incredibly nuanced.
However, I think the ending would have been better if it had stuck to the “lost in imagination” premise instead of “knowingly making a fourth wall reference” that it went to in the end. The latter is overdone, I think, in Malaysian theatre, and I think the former would have made the message of the play much stronger. Swiych mentioned that this ending weakened the play, and I agree.
Allegra the God
Bias alert: I know the playwright for this, and I am familiar with the canon she’s creating. Part of my glee comes from watching a world come alive, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching this.
That said, if you have sharp ears, enjoy word play, and delight in sarcasm, then this one’s for you. It’s a pragmatic view of how Gods operate, has reference to bureaucracy and cage matches. Sadly, the delivery is a little marred, and I could barely hear one of the actresses during the play.
The rest of the acts are quite intriguing in their own right and fun to watch. Some, like Tough Love, employ good timing and great delivery. Others, like But If I Don’t, Know That I Love You and Sticky Situation are slice of life.
The only skit that I had a personal issue with was Partner, Pattna. While I understand it was to poke fun at the older generation, I felt it was stereotypical and quite standard. Don’t get me wrong; I thought the script, acting and execution was spot-on. It just didn’t make me feel anything more than “meh” after watching it. The other plays, even the ones I haven’t mentioned here, left me with something to think or feel after they ended. This one left me feeling empty inside, cause it didn’t feel there was any point to it.
With that said, go and catch Short and Sweet Theatre Week 1 before they end! You can find more info on the KLPac site.