A Piece of Intricate English Language Theatre in Kuala Lumpur
What Will Break You and Apocalips
Keeping to the tradition of good drama, wonderful lines, and great acting, Malaysia’s Big-Eyed Catwoman Production has intended double bill What Will Break You and Apocalips to bring to Malaysian audiences the beauty of language presented in a form of good writing and narration. However, such an exercise could easily fall into the trap of good drama enjoyed by a selected few, commonly among the elites within a specific community. English theatre in Malaysia is rather similar to where I come from – Singapore, mainly those with an Old Vic English drama sensibility. They appeal to English Language practitioners, not to mention English teachers teaching English literature in schools.
Again, it is purely unintentional, to make theatre that only appeals to the selected few. It is all about the writing: the choice of subject matter, the tone of the script, and the choice of words. In terms of direction, it is about the focus of the trajectory the theatre is moving, it is also about the director’s own indulgence in its presentation. It is not a bad thing, but it might just appeal to those with similar sensibilities, not those who are not. In Malaysia, it is a divide.
To me, What Will Break You and Apocalips are high quality plays. Actors Gavin Yeo and Zahim Albakri put up a nuance performance teasing out the intricacies of a prisoner’s quest for freedom and reprieving, while similarly for Apocalips, both of them, alongside the other actors, have put up good performances as totally different characters.
Due credit is to be given to writer Ivan Yeo for his adroitness in the English Language, for every word seems to matter and well-woven into the tapestry of the narration.
I look forward to more good productions from this small, but intricately formed theatre company in Kuala Lumpur.