Performing Malay Sketches
7, 8, 10 March 2019
Arts House Play Den
Commissioned by The Arts House for Textures Festival 2019 (#BuySingLit)
Who is the Malay person in Singapore?
In this play-within-a-play, local theatre company, The Second Breakfast Company, brings Alfian Sa’at’s anthology of short stories, Malay Sketches, to the stage. Through stage enactments of sketches from the book, Performing Malay Sketches peels back the layers of this text exploring the question of how to construct and portray the Malay identity in Singapore – and how it is represented, perceived and celebrated.
Source Text Written by Alfian Sa’at
Playwrights: Mark Benedict Cheong and Adeeb Fazah
Director: Adeeb Fazah
Assistant Director and Sound Designer: Mark Benedict Cheong
Lighting Designer: Jim Chan
Producer: Denise Dolendo and Kristine Ng
Cast: Nur Sofihah, Muhammad Fauzi, Adeeb Fazah, Muhammad Hafidz, Hu Yuheng, Nisa Syarafana
Performing Malay Sketches also has lots of wacky humour that made the audience laugh out loud. Nisa Syarafana grabbed our attention with her excellent comedic timing as she shifts between the meek Mas and the more assertive characters that Mas plays. The tight directing and script also contribute to the almost seamless flow between the layers of the conceit, and much credit goes to Adeeb Fazah, who directed, co-wrote, and stars in two roles in the production.
– The Weekender
The great thing about Performing Malay Sketches is its unabashed, sharp humour, making keen references to the local theatre scene that anyone in the know would likely chortle at, not to mention the observational, almost absurd social humour Alfian’s original texts themselves are chock full of. But even amidst the laughter, there is a strong dose of social commentary that leaves one uncomfortable at times with the hard truths brought to light… Humorous, piercing, and current, should The Second Breakfast Company ever receive a chance to revisit this piece in future, then by all means, we welcome it.