When I first told Shangbin about this blog, he commented on the effort needed to sustain it. At first, it was okay but now, boy is it tedious. I caught this play at the Esplanade studios on 7 April. Hope was originally written by Haresh Sharma about a chinese family facing a myraid of problems. There was a paralysed friend of a journalist and a good-for-nothing husband with a wife and child. Teater Ekamatra, however, decided to adapt this play into a Malay context which worked really well for me.
With the complexities and nuances of the Malay culture which I myself am not familiar with, there was much to learn and see throughout the course of the play. The chemistry between Fir Rahman and Hirzi Zulkiflie was really good. I really enjoyed watching Rahman act as the paralysed man, who had the funny lines and almost heartwrenching story. I also enjoyed watching Zulkiflie, largely because he’s good looking. Haha. Also, his character took on a happy-go-lucky, silly persona which I thought made the pairing with Rahman more poignant, as Rahman’s character was more thoughtful and matured.
I first watched Sani perform at Best of, and I really liked his performance then. This time around I was much less captivated, perhaps because there were other characters and stories happening rather than his one personal story. Nevertheless, Sani’s efforts and professionalism in his craft can be seen as he reenacted the part where the loansharks confronted him. He had to pour (fake) liquor all over himself and smash cake into his own face, then continue to act the rest of the show while remaining in the same clothes. (Of course, kudos to the stage manager for cleaning the mess up every night).
Siti Hajar’s rendering of her character as the mother, I thought was sometimes distant and fragmented. I am not too sure was it her acting or the script. Nevertheless, I could feel her character’s desperation at her plight.
Then, there was Zakiah, who is the director’s daughter. She had no lines in the play but I would say, to be in a 1.5hours play for proper audience at such a young age is commendable.
Other than the acting, I really liked the use of music done by Bani Haykal because it really helped to set the mood of the play. I also liked the use of the mud sculptures that created a visual imaginary world with the multimedia as the backdrop.