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