The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) will be presenting an adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” from 1 to 5 September.
Hailed as the most significant English language play of the 20th Century, “Waiting for Godot” is a masterpiece by the Irish avant-garde writer, dramatist and poet. It was described as Theatre of the Absurd and it was this kind of writing that won him the Noble Prize in 1969.
The fact is this play and its characters continue to shock, amuse, entertain, engage and move theatre goers all over the world just as it did when it was first staged more than 50 years ago. Back then, people were shocked more than anything because nothing quite like it had been attempted before and it truly redefined what was possible in theatre.
Vivian Mercier in Irish Times wrote that the play ‘has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats.’ A recent Theatre Royal Haymarket (UK) production of “Waiting for Godot” starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart broke all box office records with a sold out national tour and an extended run on West End.
In the two-act play, two men wait expectantly for a mysterious man by the name of Godot to arrive. They occupy themselves by silly conversation; they argue, joke, contemplate suicide and even sing and dance. Who is this Godot they are waiting for? Does he arrive?
The upcoming production will be directed by KLPAC’s Resident Director, Kimmy Kiew, who brought us “A Women of Silk River” and “A Loser / Pilgrim” earlier this year. This will be a more ambitious venture no doubt. Going against Beckett’s objection to having female actors performing this play, the script has been adapted so that the two men will now be two transgender women played by Fairuz Tauhid and Yuki Choe with Jerome Kugan as the boy. This is based on an original idea by Kugan and Rohaizad Suaidi. It is particularly exciting as it will mark Kugan’s debut and he will also be designing music for the show.
Through the two characters in “Waiting for Godot”, Beckett painted a very realistic picture of the human race filled with uncertainty, despair and loneliness. One can draw a parallel to the outlook faced by the marginalized transsexual female population in Malaysia. One filled with a lot of waiting, question marks and ambiguity.
Despite the loneliness the characters face, the play also celebrates the consolation of friendship between the couple and it is peppered with humorous moments. Beckett is a master of language and his wittiness and Kimmy’s keen direction will have you on your edge listening to every single word.
SAMUEL BECKETT’S WAITING FOR GODOT
Presenter : The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Director : Kimmy Kiew
Artistic Director : Joe Hasham OAM
Executive Producer : Dato’ Faridah Merican
Featuring : Fairuz Tauhid, Yuki Choe, Jerome Kugan
Duration of Show : 70 mins
Date & Time: 1 Sept @ 8.30pm (preview); 2 – 4 Sept @ 8.30pm, 5 Sept @ 3pm
Venue: Pentas 2, KLPAC (location map available on KLPAC website)
Ticket Prices: RM 35.00 & RM 23.00 (students & the disabled)
PREVIEW NIGHT (1 Sept, 8:30pm): RM10 donation at the door
DRAG NIGHT (3 Sept, 8:30pm): Come in drag & get tickets @ RM23
STUDENT MATINEE (4 Sept, 3:00pm): RM15 for students
Call or Walk In – KLPAC @ Sentul Park (03 – 4047 9000)
Call or Walk In – The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 (03 – 2142 2009 / 2143 2009)
Walk In only – Axcess @ main office (Jln. Semangat) & 1-Utama outlet Online purchase – via www.klpac.org