Tag Archives: theatre

The Gruffalo by London’s Tall Stories

The tale of Gruffalo is beloved by children all over the world and for the first time, all the way from London, Tall Stories’ musical adaptation of the multi-award winning children’s book, THE GRUFFALO, comes to Penang to the delight of children and parents alike.

Join Mouse as he trails off deep into the dark woods in search of some delicious nuts for lunch and encounters three residents of the woods who look to him as a fitting meal. There is “the smirking, wheeler-dealer Fox; an eccentric, retired Woodland Air Force General Owl; and the maraca-shaking, party animal Snake” but none of them are a match to Mouse’s wit or cunning. As Mouse turns them off with horrifying tales of The Gruffalo, his monster friend (an imaginary one, of course), he is in for a big surprise when he comes face-to-face with the big, burly Gruffalo. How Mouse escapes from this is brilliantly acted out in Tall Stories’ wonderful and magical production that has drawn in rave reviews.

Told through witty songs, brilliant acting and whimsical story-telling, The Gruffalo is directed by Tall Stories’ co-founder Olivia Jacobs. Besides rave reviews and being the toast of London’s West End, this is a production not-to-be-missed as it taps into the creative and whimsical world of childhood imagination to bring a wholesome and entertaining work of theatre for the whole family.

Copyright Tall Stories
A children’s theatre for the family [Copyright Tall Stories]
THE GRUFFALO

Dates

29 October – 1 November 2013 @ 10 am / 12:30 pm

2 – 3 November 2013 @ 2 pm / 5 pm

Venue

stage 1, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang)

Ticketing information

RM 50 for Regular

RM 63 for Superior

RM 76 for Premium

RM 89 for VIP

PROMOTION (Call +6017-2289 849)

OKU Promotion @ 50% off on a normal ticket price, up to 2 tickets per OKU card

Family Package at RM234 for 4 Superior (in person / phone ONLY)

Special Offer of 10 packages of RM234 for 4 Premium (First Come First Served)

School Rate of RM48

Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722.

The Restaurant of Many Orders

The acclaimed Japanese director and choreographer Hiroshi Koike brings us his latest work, The Restaurant of Many Orders which is part of the Koike Hiroshi Bridge Project. Said to be a physical theatre piece, this performance takes from Kenji Miyazawa’s famous children’s story of the same title and revolves around the theme of human and nature and the relationship between the two.

The Restaurant of Many Orders promises to be an enthralling piece of performance art in the vein of Koike’s earlier project, Pappa Tarahumara, lacing  traditional and contemporary dance with whimsical and surreal story-telling.

The Restaurant of Many Orders

Date

23 October 2013 @ 8:30pm

Venue

stage 1, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang)

Ticketing information

RM 30 (Adults)

RM 15 (Students, Physically Challenged, TAS & Senior Privilege Card Holder)

Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722.

A PenTAS exclusive: Marrying Me – The Musical

“Still no boyfriend ah?”

Every single woman who has had this question hurled at her would understand how annoying it can be to have nosy aunties and ‘well-meaning’ relatives trying to set her up with any Abu, Ah Beng or Appu.

And “Still no boyfriend ah?” is how the publicity team behind Christopher Ling’s upcoming production, Marrying Me, starts of its pre-pre press release, which came along with a personal note stating that PenTAS was the first media to receive the preliminary information on what seems to be like a syiok-tastic musical comedy. Brownie points for Marrying Me (which I hope would eventually translate into ticket sales).

Based on a book written by Mark Beau De Silva, this production by the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) in collaboration with the Penang Performing Arts Centre (penangpac) tells the story of one Stephanie – a proud single woman. But as her will to resist marriagehood starts to fray and a looming tragedy corners her, will Stephanie change her “I don’t” to the dreaded “I do”?

We will just have to wait for Dec 5 to find out what Stephanie does when Marrying Me opens at penangpac.

MARRYING ME 

Content Advisory: PG-13: Parental guidance advised (13 years old and above)

Music Onn San

Book Mark Beau De Silva

Lyrics EllaRose Chary

Director & Production Designer Christopher Ling

Musical Director & Arranger Stephen Tok

Choreographer Lex Lakshman Balakrishnan

Featuring Stephanie Van Driesen, Sandra Sodhy, Tony Leo Selvaraj, Fang Chyi with Joel Wong, Aaron Teoh, Aaron Ho, Abdul Muhaimin, Ho Lee Ching, Tan Yi Qing

Date

5 – 7 December @ 8.30pm

8 December @ 3pm

Venue

stage 2, penangpac @ Straits Quay (3H-3A-1, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang)

Ticketing Information

RM53 (Adults)

RM33 (Students, TAS Cardholders)

Ticket Promotions: Group Bookings: Buy 10 tickets, get 1 ticket FREE

Tickets can be purchased at TicketPro or the penangpac Box Office. For reservations or more information, call penangpac at 04-8991722 / 2722

Follow Marrying Me online on Twitter and Instagram with #marryingmemusical

Review of T4YP’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’

Romeo & Juliet: Sublime, Impeccable And Yet…

By Khoo Wei Cyn

Images courtesy of ShiPng.com

Romeo and Juliet is a tale which stretches back to antiquity. For eons, the concept of forbidden love was deemed the epitome of all romance stories. Produced by the Theatre For Young People (T4YP) ensemble which is based in Kuala Lumpur and directed by Christopher Ling, the performance of Romeo & Juliet at the Penang Performing Arts Centre (penangpac) on the 21st of September 2013 at Stage 2 was a play to beholdThe play was presented in an easy-to-relate adaptation of the original by William Shakespeare.

Welcome to SMK Damansara Verona
Welcome to SMK Damansara Verona

The concept in which this play was presented made the theatrical experience so fresh and enjoyable for laypersons such that the Shakespearean lingo did little to deter the audience from enjoying the play. Romeo & Juliet revolves around a group of Form Six students doing a moved reading of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, and in the process they find themselves indulging in their characters so much that they build a new world around them, a world where reality runs parallel with art. This world would end with the ring of the bell, and every new day begins with the students going into their routine — marching into class and breaking into dance, where the actors are completely in character as Form Six students which they portray. But once the moved reading starts, their transition into their Romeo & Juliet world is immediate.

... every new day begins with the students going into their routine — marching into class and breaking into dance...
… every new day begins with the students going into their routine — marching into class and breaking into dance…

Actors Tan Yi Qing, Tan Boon Kit, Arief Hamizan and Aaron Lo portrayed their characters well. In the scene where Lady Capulet swore to cast Juliet out of the house should Juliet resist her arranged marriage with Count Paris, the lines of Capulet and Lady Capulet were reversed. Hence, in Romeo & Juliet Arief (Capulet/Benvolio) was performing the lines of Lady Capulet of the Shakespearean text whereas Yi Qing took the lines of Capulet. This was a good decision as she captivated the audience with her powerful performance during this scene, which left a lasting impression on me.

Qi Ying as Capulet captivating the audience with her powerful performance
Qi Ying as Capulet captivating the audience with her powerful performance

One of the most memorable scenes of the entire play was when Boon Kit (Mercutio/Montague) recited the lines “… I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes/By her high forehead and her scarlet lip/By her fine foot, straight leg and quivering thigh…” and groped Arief to illustrate his description. The sheer bewilderment of Arief’s expression during this scene elicited laughter from the audience and I think he deserves an award for brilliant acting just for this part. Boon Kit was also expressive and amusing in his portrayal of Mercutio and Montague.

Boon Kit and Arief eliciting laughter
Boon Kit and Arief eliciting laughter

My favourite character of the whole play is Friar Laurence who falls under the jurisdiction of Aaron. He somehow adds a personal touch to the character, making Friar Laurence a cute mixture of dramatic, nerdy, awkward yet wise and fatherly-friarly towards Romeo. His acting was perfect during Act 2, Scene 3 while smelling and licking a paper doily in his hands.

Aaron as the Friar and his paper doily
Aaron as the Friar and his paper doily

Unfortunately, Romeo and Juliet (Joshua Aeria and Nadin Norzuhdy) didn’t stand out like some members of the cast. Perhaps they were very much into character as the students they play, and the students can’t fully relate to Romeo and Juliet. Or perhaps it is because Romeo and Juliet have lines which are quite limited in the range of emotions they could have.

Joshua and Nadin immersed in the all-consuming love of their characters
Joshua and Nadin immersed in the all-consuming love of their characters

The choreography for the dance scenes were well-coordinated and served an underlying message for the scenes they were featured in. A memorable dance scene in the play was when Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio sneaked into the Capulet ball which began like a 21st century style couple dance, but soon morphed into a comedic routine. Fighting scenes were so realistic that some members of the audience gasped when Arief was thrown to the ground.

Some members of the audience gasped when Arief was thrown to the ground!
Some members of the audience gasped when Arief was thrown to the ground!

As for props, the plastic chairs and tables prove to be very versatile, crafting all the scenes with just some assembly. The lighting serves as clues to the audience as to the transition from the play itself to the play-within-the-play.

Romeo, oh Romeo... look at the props!
Romeo, oh Romeo… look at the props!

Christopher Ling’s Romeo & Juliet is an absolutely splendid adaptation of the concept which makes Shakespeare’s version easy to understand for those unfamiliar with his work. It is certainly a masterpiece borne of painstaking effort and meticulous preparation by all means.

Kudos T4YP for a wonderful production of a classic.
Kudos T4YP for a wonderful production of a classic.

*A neophyte to theatre, Khoo Wei Cyn has just survived a thespian’s adventure at Short+Sweet Theatre Malaysia 2013 in Penang. She enjoys writing, reading and appreciating art in all forms.