JO-KING HARD

The In­stant Café The­atre Com­pany cel­e­brates its 26th an­niver­sary this month with ‘D’State of D’Na­tion’. Founder Jo Kukathas tells all.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Culture -

How did the idea for the show­case come about? When In­stant Café The­atre (ICT) turned 25 last De­cem­ber, we had marked it with a play called Raj and the End of Tragedy. On the last night of the play, many of the ICT alumni came to cel­e­brate our 25th birth­day, and the talk turned to talk of a “re­union” show. Then, some months ago, in re­sponse to some na­tional-type non­sense, [co­me­dian] Rashid Salleh posted on Face­book: “Where is In­stant Café, and why aren’t we mak­ing com­edy of this?” A lot of other ICT folks chimed in, and so did a lot of our fol­low­ers. But of course, what we are truly in­spired by is the cur­rent state of the na­tion and the syn­ergy be­hind the fact that ICT turns 2.6 decades old just when the num­ber 2.6 be­comes part of the na­tional dis­cus­sion ... Snap! What are some of the so­cial is­sues peo­ple will be privy to with it? Peo­ple are liv­ing the is­sues. The haze, murky po­lit­i­cal wheel­ing and deal­ing, shirts of var­i­ous colours, the law, the price of cha­p­ati, the ring­git plung­ing deeper than Kim Kar­dashian’s cleav­age (I can’t be­lieve I sunk to a Kar­dashian joke) ... but we will also be go­ing down mu­dah lupa lane. Af­ter all, this is to cel­e­brate 2.6 decades of D’Non­sense in D'Na­tion. We need to laugh, or else we’ll cry. What was the big­gest chal­lenge of the show? We are writ­ing new songs and sketches, and up­dat­ing some of the clas­sics. The chal­lenge has been choos­ing what to do out of so much funny ma­te­rial. That’s why we are do­ing two ses­sions – the show at the PJ Civic Cen­tre and a se­ries of smaller shows at Da­mansara Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre. Your dream au­di­ence. Nel­son Man­dela, Ma­hatma Ghandi, Tunku Ab­dul Rah­man, and Monty Python. The last hi­lar­i­ous thing some­one said to you. “It was a do­na­tion.” D’State of D’Na­tion is on Dec 1 at PJ Civic Cen­tre, and from Dec 4 to 6 at Da­mansara Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre. www.in­stant­cafethe­atre.com

Jo Kukathas

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