For the love of the arts!

 

Source

The performing arts scene in Malaysia has undoubtedly blossomed over the past few decades, with more and more arts festivals and theatre productions sprouting from every corner of the country each year. 2016 is coming in stronger than before with a spectacular lineup ranging from homegrown theatre plays to adaptations of world renowned classics. Whether you’re a fan of the arts, or simply someone who’s got time on their hands, this year, you’re definitely in for a treat!

Here are 10 theatre and arts events not to be missed in 2016.

 

1. Marble Hearts by The Actors Studio Seni Theatre Rakyat

 

Source

Kicking it off this year is Marble Hearts; a modern day tragedy adaptation of King Lear. The story focuses on three daughters – Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia, as they embark on their journeys of self-discovery while having to witness the mental deterioration of their abusive father.

Source

Though retaining crucial plots of the original King Lear story, Marble Hearts is set to present a completely new twist on the sisters’ chase for their dreams that eventually lead to self destruction. Written and directed by U-En Ng, starring Christina Orow, Marina Tan, Safia Hanifah and Samatha Schubert, is set to hit the stages of Kuala Lumpur and Penang from the 20th of January 2016.

Venue: Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Date and Time: 20 Jan ‘16 @ 8.30pm | 21 – 23 Jan ‘16 @ 8.30pm | 24 Jan ‘16 @ 3pm
Ticket price: RM35 (for 20 January show only) | RM45 (Adult) | RM35 (TAS Card Member / Senior Citizen / Disabled / Student) 

Get your tickets here.

 

2. Lo Mio and Chiu Liet by Sifu Productions

 

Source

Also in line with Shakespeare’s 400th, is Lo Mio and Chiu Liet, Forbidden Love in Forbidden City. If a 16th century English poet and an Empress from ancient China had a baby, this would be it; presenting the Chinese edition of Shakespeare’s most famed piece, Romeo and Juliet. Set in 1920’s Beijing, China, this English – Cantonese bilingual remake preserves the original storyline of the Shakespearean classic, but presents it in an entirely new perspective.

Source

Transformed from a romantic tragedy to a tragi-comedy, this adaptation will see the two lovers, Lo Mio and Chiu Liet, find a way to each other in the midst of a cultural clash between the Westernized Chui clan and the feudalist Lo clan. So expect a wild ride as you step into the worlds of Lo Mio and Chiu Liet, as the saying now goes, “O Lo Mio, Lo Mio, why forth mantao”

Venue: Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Date and Time: 25 – 27 Feb, 2 Mar – 5 Mar @ 8.30pm | 28 Feb & 6 Mar @ 3pm
Ticket price: RM 45 (Adults) | RM 35 (Students, Disabled, Senior Citizen & TAS card members)

Get your tickets here.

 

3. Merdekarya

 

Source

If you aren’t big on theatrics, but still a fan of the arts (in this case local talent singing their original work to the strums of an acoustic guitar), well then Merdekarya, (pronounced mer-day-kar-ya) is the place for you! Radiating chilled indie vibes inside out, this idiosyncratic set up is nestled on the first floor of a rustic shop lot somewhere along Petaling Garden (full address listed below), accessible only by the back lane.

Source

Promoting themselves as an independent spot for live Malaysian music with a “damn chill, lepak environment,” Merdekarya is the perfect place for anyone of “mature” age to experience the best of local indie talent, while grabbing a drink and some comfort food with their mates.

Source

So the next time you’re in the mood for a chilled night of great music and great food, head over to Merdekarya for an all in one, comfort slash fun night out.

Do note that this is rated PG Mature.

Address: 352, 1st Floor, Jalan 5/57, Petaling Garden, Section 5, 46000, PJ
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 7pm onwards
Tel: Melani: 016-2020529 | Brian: 016-2071553
Website: Here

 

4. MUD – The Musical by Enfiniti Vision Media

 

Source

We’ve given you Malaysian theatre; we’ve given you Malaysian music. Put those two together, sprinkle on some dance, and you get the longest running musical in Malaysian history – MUD The Musical, The Story of Kuala Lumpur.

Source

An interactive musical for all ages, races and genders, MUD tells the story of three friends, Mamat, Meng and Muthiah, who arrive at the promising town of Kuala Lumpur during the mining boom in the 1880s, in hopes of starting a new life. Their journeys and encounters with a myriad of different characters from all walks of life, eventually form a multi-cultural society of what we now know, as modern Kuala Lumpur.

Source

Running all year long, MUD The Musical is an initiative by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall in collaboration with Enfini Vision Media to showcase Malaysia’s cultural heritage with tourists and locals alike. Showing at Panggung Bandaraya since the 7th of July 2014, MUD is a truly Malaysian musical not to be missed.

Source

Venue: Panggung Bandaraya
Date and Time: All year round @ 3pm and 8:30pm
Ticket price: STANDARD @ RM80 per ticket | MYKAD (Malaysian IC) @ RM50 per ticket

Get your tickets here.

 

5. About Aisya by Tapestry

 

Source

For a more toned down alternative, kilometers away from MUD’s bright Broadway lights in the big city (literally), comes About Aisya; a story about a girl’s journey through life, and all the highs and lows that come along with it.

Source

Featuring songs by legendary artistes such as P. Ramlee, Marvin Gaye, John Legend, Michael Jackson and Muse, About Aisyah is the perfect theatre concoction for fans of pop hits and drama alike. However, being a Tapestry production, there is one catch – everything, and by everything we mean EVERYTHING, is acapella – but that’s what Tapestry does best anyway! So grab a friend, a family member or even a stranger from the streets and get ready to witness Aisyah’s story as told by perfectly blended harmonies.

Venue: Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC)
Date and Time: 3 – 5 March @ 8:30pm | 6 March @ 3pm and 8:30pm
Ticket price: Category 1: MYR 68.00 | Category 2: MYR 58.00

Get your tickets here.

 

6. Look at Me! by Shanthini Venugopal

 

Photo credit: JLimPhotography

If you haven’t heard of this Malaysian triple threat, you’re probably not Malaysian at all. Shanthini Venugopal, who once acted alongside Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat, will be gracing Kuala Lumpur’s very own Theatre Lounge Café for her first ever solo cabaret from the 23rd to the 25th of April 2016.

Photo credit: Faisal Mustafa

The actress, comedienne and storyteller extraordinaire will take audiences on a musical journey, sharing the joys and heartbreaks life has to offer. With her soulful vocals alongside pianist Eddy Zachariah, in the comfort of a cozy lounge café, Look at Me! is cabaret event you cannot miss!

Venue: Theatre Lounge Café
Date: 23 – 25 Apr 2016
Email: [email protected]e.com

 

7. Nunsense by Gardner and Wife

 

Source

If you haven’t already guessed it by its title, Nunsense is a musical comedy featuring your not so typical sisters of the holy Catholic Church – unorthodox nuns. Premiering in July, Nunsense 2016 is a restage of the highly acclaimed Malaysianized Nunsense by Dan Goggin, first introduced into Malaysian theatres in 2001.

Source

This restage will see the return of the show’s famed glue sniffing Mother Superior Sister Mary Regina. Add that charming character to four other nuns with bewildering backgrounds that’ll have you rolling on the floor, and you’ve got a hit comedy not to be missed!

Venue: PJ Live Arts
Showing period: July 2016
Tel: +60 3 2276 1402

Get your tickets at Online Box office, here or PJLA, here.

 

8. Rainforest World Music Festival 2016 by Sarawak Tourism Board

 

Source

Imagine dancing and singing to the beats of indigenous music from all around the world, all within the heart, of the Borneo Jungle. Rainforest World Music Festival is back this 2016 with a stellar lineup of cultural performers from countries such as France, Indonesia, Scotland, Mexico; not forgetting our very own musicians from all around Borneo, and much more!

Source

For three days, festival goers can start of their day by participating in music and dance workshops, perhaps take some time after to visit the arts and crafts area, and then be entertained by the many world renowned performers to end off their day.

Source

With a backdrop like the mystical Mt. Santubong, and the sounds of nature whispering around you, what is there not to love about this celebration of the arts? A fun and wholesome experience with so much to offer, RWMF has something for everyone.

Venue: Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, Sarawak Malaysia
Showing period: 5 – 7 Aug 2016
Website: Here

Get your tickets here.

 

9. The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare Demystified

 

Source

If you think Shakespeare is only for literature snobs, Shakespeare Demystified (SD) is here to convince you otherwise. This time, they are bringing you The Merchant of Venice 2016 with the message that human beings are never either good or bad but a mixture of both, and sometimes just plain foolish. 

Source

Totally unpretentious, all plays are performed in original Shakespearean English with narration in contemporary English. The props used are minimal to let their audience use their imagination to bring the story to life. You might even spot an actor/actress playing a few roles in one play.

Venue: Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Date and Time: 20-23 April 2016 @ 8:30pm | 23-24 April 2016 @3.00pm | (Extra day show can be arranged upon request)
Website: Here
Email: [email protected]

 

10. Short and Sweet Malaysia 2016 by Short and Sweet Festival

 

Source

To end off our list, we give you the world’s biggest little festival – Short and Sweet! If you weren’t already a frequent presence on the stages of our planet, and our list has somehow magically awakened your inner spotlight-hogging-diva, Short and Sweet Malaysia will be returning once again this 2016 with opportunities for you to tell a joke, dance, sing, and act, or do all four at once! Just be sure to keep your act under 10 minutes or less, and you’re one step closer to winning the grand prize. Oh, did we forget mention that Short and Sweet is a competition with fabulous prizes up for grabs? Oops, well now you know!

Source

If stage lights and vocal warm-ups aren’t exactly your cup of tea, fear not! There’s also room on the audience side for you to be entertained all night long. So take your pick, and break a leg.

Venue: Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Date and Time: TBC
Tel:+603 4047 9000
Website: Here

 

Embrace the local arts scene

 

And that’s a wrap! 7 arts events you can’t afford to miss in 2016, and two equally as worthy trend breakers available at your pleasure all year round! We hope you’re all hyped up and ready to enter the magical worlds of each of these shows, because we know we definitely are! So till next time, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.