KUALA LUMPUR: Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) is set to stage a charity theatre performance on June 22 titled “Najis Jadi Teman” (Excrement Becomes Companion), in conjunction with its three-decade anniversary.

It promises to enlighten audiences about 3D (dirty, difficult and dangerous) work involving sewage, a crucial task that is often overlooked yet plays an important role in maintaining public health and environmental sustainability.

Directed by Wayang Kitchen co-founder Razif Hashim, the one-hour play features actor and singer Atilia Haron, Alfred Loh and Phraveen Arikiah in lead roles, supported by children from the Chow Kit Foundation NGO.

IWK corporate communications head Wan Esuriyanti Wan Ahmad said the company has adopted a unique storytelling approach to raise public awareness on the importance of sewage treatment.

“The ‘Najis Jadi Teman’ play will not only commemorate three decades of IWK’s dedicated service but also serve as a platform to educate and motivate the public to actively contribute to positive change within their communities to preserve health and a cleaner and safer environment.”

She also said the performance could encourage the public to acknowledge the responsibilities of sewage workers, who usually complete their important work unseen by the public

“We must always remember that their job helps to prevent waterborne diseases, ensure water quality and contribute to the overall well-being of communities. So, giving them a pat on the back is one way to show them that they are appreciated,” she said, adding that this is the first time IWK is using theatre as a creative platform to present sewage treatment from an entertaining perspective.

Through its collaboration with Yayasan Chow Kit, Esuriyanti said the two could engage the community and provide teenagers with opportunities to engage in such healthy activities.

Although the title for the play may be unorthodox, she said it was inspired by a poem she wrote during the movement control order four years ago.

“When I wrote it, I was deeply saddened to see my colleagues in the operations department working in harsh conditions, dealing with sewage every day while others were confined at home.

“The title explains in a metaphoric sense the situation faced by the operations team who handle sewage, and explains the actual nature of their daily work.”

Razif said celebrating IWK’s 30th anniversary with a performance that sheds light on the often-overlooked sewage workers is truly inspiring.

“We began training three weeks ago. It has been an incredible journey so far, and we still have some time before launching the entire project to bring their unique story to life.”

He said when IWK approached his production team to stage the performance, it presented a unique challenge and opportunity.

While their usual focus was on immersive theatre and storytelling centred around food, he said this collaboration required them to delve into a different narrative and create a memorable theatrical experience.

“Despite the unfamiliar territory, we found the concept interesting and felt compelled to take on the project.

“When I learnt of the behind-the-scenes efforts of those working in the sewage industry, I felt that their story needed to be told,” he added.

Tickets for the play are priced at RM100 each and are available on the Cloud Joi platform.

All proceeds will be channelled to Yayasan Chow Kit.