Festival Drama 10 Minit held recently at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 22nd – 25th April 2009 saw 14 tertiary groups from across Penisular Malaysia and 2 groups from Singapore staged a 4-day festival. Eight groups performed every night to a full-house crowd.
The festival also saw director U-Wei Haji Saari who co-directed Mediacorp Suria’s ‘Rahsia Perkahwinan’ directing the play ‘Kutipan’.
Representatives from Singapore were four members from Sang Singa Purba performing under the name Kotak and the recent Gema Puisi Artistik (GPA) champions, Pasir Ris Secondary School.
Both Singapore groups were brought over by Goh Chok Tong Youth Recipient Awardee, Cikgu Noor Hasnah Adam, who is also the advisor to Sang Singa Purba and the Director/ Scripwriter for Pasir Ris Secondary School award winning GPA performance, ‘S.A.M.P.A.H’.
The performances saw full-house attendance every night which proves that support for the arts industry in Malaysia is vibrant and open-minded as performances staged were also liberal and politically critical yet tastefully done.
My favourites for the performances were ‘Kencing Peluh’ staged by UKM, ‘Isteriku Tiada Susu’ by UiTM, ‘Amir Amar’ by ASWARA and ‘Satu Pintu’ by Majlis Teater Negeri Perak.
Singapore should seriously organize such festivals here which encourage a free-range of ideas from homosexuality to anti-government issues to be staged as Singapore gears up for the opening of the Integrated Resorts.
Such performances allow a flow of creative juices and encourage creativity amongst Singaporeans rather than instill a sense of fear in its citizens especially in topics where government criticisms take a stronghold.
Nonetheless, whilst the government slowly opens up to be more liberal and open-minded to the arts scene here, I look forward to more opportunities to overseas performances where fellow artists are allowed to practice freedom of expression.