Re­al­ity bites

Valen­tine’s is mostly about love. but don’t for­get break­ing up and ev­ery­thing in be­tween.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - PARENTING - By QISHIN TARIQ en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

MEN­TION a Valen­tine’s col­lec­tion of short sto­ries fea­tur­ing a gamut of char­ac­ters, and you may might bring back blocked-out mem­o­ries of that hor­ren­dous Hol­ly­wood rom-com Valen­tine’s Day in 2010. Maybe it’s time to ditch the cine­mas and try out some lo­cal the­atre.

For this com­ing V-Day, the lo­cal pro­duc­tion Tales From The Bed­room at Indicine, KLPac in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 14-16 might just sur­prise you.

The show’s scriptwriter Fa Ab­dul as­sures that no such Hol­ly­wood-scale trav­esty will be in­flicted on her au­di­ence. She re­veals that the play’s crew of 30 peo­ple will be made up mostly of fresh ac­tors paired with more re­al­is­tic, true to life scripts rather than the Serendip­ity- like wish­ful think­ing. No John Cu­sack and Kate Beck­in­sale, no prob­lem.

Cre­ative di­rec­tor Matthew Koh dis­agrees with the com­mon no­tion that Valen­tine’s tales need to have happy end­ings with love tri­umph­ing over all.

“Of the 10 short plays we’re do­ing, not all of them have happy end­ings. It’s un­avoid­able con­sid­er­ing we do fea­ture a lot of cou­ples in un­healthy re­la­tion­ships,” says Koh, laugh­ing. “I like it that way, if the sto­ries were all peachy, it wouldn’t tell much about the hu­man con­di­tion. Most movies about ro­mance fo­cus on the strug­gle,” he adds.

Not that Koh is down on love, rather he be­lieves the adage of kiss­ing frogs to find a prince/princess. “While dat­ing, peo­ple have do go through to a lot of bad ex­pe­ri­ences be­fore they find the one that lasts a life time,” he rea­sons.

Fa ex­plains that the scripts turned out the way they did, not be­cause they wanted to bash love-ever-af­ter, but rather be­cause it was just their style of pro­duc­ing plays. “We’re not very the­atri­cal, we fo­cus on telling the story to make plays more ac­ce­si­ble to the pub­lic,” she says.

“From ex­pe­ri­ence, we re­alise the the­atre com­mu­nity is quite up­tight and prone to us­ing lingo. For lack of a bet­ter term, we want to make the­atre less fancy pants,” says Koh.

In keep­ing with that phi­los­o­phy, Fa and Koh wanted to wanted to open the door to more ac­tors and di­rec­tors, tak­ing on some 30 peo­ple to do the play’s 10 seg­ments, with di­rec­tors be­ing ac­tors in each oth­ers’ plays and vice versa. With such a large cast, the youngest ac­tor is 17 (he iron­i­cally plays the

chummy in

Gig­gle fac­tor: Lorna hoong (left) and deepan play a per­sonal as­sis­tant and datuk that get a lit­tle too

TalesFromThebed­room, a se­ries of 10 short plays writ­ten by Fa ab­dul.

Leanne Chuan (left) and Khaz Shamia show how dark abu­sive re­la­tion­ships can get in The be­trayal, part of TalesFrom Thebed­room.

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