As Malaysia readies to celebrate its 66th Independence Day followed by Malaysia Day, The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat reflects with a heartfelt offering directed by Dato’ Dr. Faridah Merican entitled “Life Sdn Bhd: What It Means To Be Malaysian?” from 1 to 3 September 2023 at indicine, klpac.
A quick survey on klpac’s Facebook on this topic showed varying responses. Some cited “warm steamy nasi lemak” and knowing “how to sing most of the classic patriotic songs like Keranamu Malaysia” while others cited to “write English with an alternative grammar” and to “enjoy more public holidays compared to most countries”.
Indeed, there are many differing viewpoints. For the upcoming Life Sdn Bhd, Dato’ Dr. Faridah Merican has chosen six individuals - Xavier Chen Wen Xuan, Tin Raman, Melor, Mark Beau de Silva, Shamaine Othman, Li Yang - with six unique takes on what it means to be an Anak Malaysia.
From a playwright and educator to a stand-up comedian, an actor to a social media strategist, the band of six storytellers offer a no holds barred version that is hilarious at times, poignant at others. It is a unique celebration of Malaysia as we know it, not a picture perfect Visit Malaysia advertisement but one that is endearing and real complete with rough edges and a silver lining.
Life Sdn Bhd series was born a year after the devastating Dataran Merdeka floods in 2003 which wiped out The Actors Studio’s Plaza Putra underground complex. After much thinking “Where do we go from here?”, it dawned upon its founders that these are the trials, tribulation and challenges of life and, so, the Life Sdn Bhd series began with “What It Means To Be Malaysian?” in 2004.
From there, Life Sdn Bhd lent itself to issues such as breast cancer, refugees, abuse, people living with HIV, human trafficking, mental health and more. Each time, featuring real people with real stories on stage – mostly unedited and raw.
30 years after the flood, the series goes back full circle to its very first theme after a turbulent few years which brought upon so many changes while some things remained the same. It is apt to once again reflect, ponder and hope.
Licensed by MACP, “Life Sdn Bhd: What It Means To Be Malaysian?” premiered at the Yayasan Sime Darby Arts Festival (YSDAF) and had audiences glued to their seats and singing along. The public will have another chance to experience it from 1 to 3 September 2023 in conjunction with the upcoming Malaysia Day celebrations.
Tickets are priced at RM50 for a combo of 2 tickets and can be purchased online at https://bit.ly/lsd2023.
Indicine, The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) Sentul Park, Jalan Strachan, Kuala Lumpur