Is the grass truly greener on the other side? Theatre production Home finds out.
“BE it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”
It’s an old saying we’ve probably heard many times in our lives. But do many of us still really believe this today?
More and more people seem to be fascinated by the idea of migrating to another country, enthralled by the prospect of a better life. Is moving abroad truly the best way for you to chase your dreams? Or should you strive to find success at home?
Such is the question posed by Home, a timely theatre production set to play at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre ( DPAC) in Petaling Jaya from March 18- 20. The show is being staged by Klang Valley- based Anomalist Productions.
“Many of my friends – and some in my family – have the mentality that studying or working overseas will make you a better person. Staying back in Malaysia supposedly isn’t a good idea. My main motivation in writing this play is to address this issue,” says Khairi Anwar, the co- director and co- writer of Home.
“My mum really wanted me to study in Britain. It’s a perception thing that studying abroad gives you an advantage,” he adds.
Khairi, who is a law graduate from Universiti Teknologi Mara ( UiTM), is one of the emerging names in local theatre.
The 24- year- old is the managing director of Anomalist Productions, which was formed in December 2014. The production company started off a theatre club in UiTM, before later expanding to bigger venues. Anomalist’s previous shows are Skrip Untuk Ali, staged in Universiti Malaya in March last year, and Teater Bangsa, staged in DPAC last September.
Home, which directed and written by Khairi and Nell Hanan, features the talents of Iskandar Al- Haziq, Tunku Habibah, Hana Nadira, Clarence Kuna, Chrisy Wu, Fikri Azzim, Sara Z, Nave VJ and Felix Augustus. The 80- minute show will be presented in both Malay and English.
Home tells the story of Syafiq ( played by Iskandar al- Hafiq), a final year law student. He is also his university’s best debater as well as a Dean’s List Honour student. Talk about blue chip quality. In his final semester, he finds himself grappling with a dilemma. Should he move overseas to study, and later work abroad? Or should he stay in Malaysia?
Syafiq turns to his friends and family for help, but faces many conflicting opinions. His good friend Adira ( Sara Z) and the members of his university debate team encourage him to seek a better life in Britain. On the other hand, his girlfriend Elina ( Tunku Habibah) does not want him to leave her, and things become complicated after Syafiq learns that something bad has befallen his mother Zara ( Hana).
Syafiq is torn and he seeks advice from his favourite author Razak Ariffin ( Felix Augustus), a Malaysian who has lived in Southampton, England for 23 years. What path will Syafiq eventually take in this complicated situation?
This is the second script that Khairi has written for Anomalist Productions, with the first being Teater Bangsa, which touched on local race relations. In terms of scripts, Khairi has a knack of working on plays with deeper homegrown themes and issues.
Home is bound to spark further discussion on this topic of migration.
“Someone once told me that we have to write something that is very close to us. So I think, for the time being, this kind of story is really personal to me, and I enjoy writing them and seeing how people will react to them,” concludes Khairi.
Home will be showing at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre ( DPAC), H- 01, Empire Damansara, Jalan PJU 8/ 8, Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, from March 18- 20. Showtimes are 8.30pm on March 18 and 3pm and 8.30pm on March 19- 20. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 017– 938 6764.
The cast and crew of Home ( standing, from left) Kuna, Augustus, ( second row, from left), nell, Wu, Tunku habibah, Khairi, ( bottom row, from left), Iskandar, hana and Fikri.
Actors Iskandar ( left) and Wu rehearsing an intense scene from the play Home, while co- director/ co- writer nell watches in the background.
Augustus plays razak Ariffin, a Malaysian author who has resided in england for over 20 years.