Theatresauce presents back-to-back innovative and immersive productions in Klpac’s intimate Indicine space.

AS Theatresauce approaches the end of its seventh-year anniversary, it is celebrating two consecutive experimental and immersive productions at the intimate Indicine, located at The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC).

“Alu & Lesung” is helmed by Dexter Zhen, while “so happy i could die” is directed by Low Yee Choy. Both Zhen and Low are alumni of Theatresauce’s Emerging Directors Lab from the company’s 2022 season.

Although both projects were created collaboratively with their respective ensembles and revolve around themes of self-awareness, discovery, and transformation, they significantly diverge in terms of their settings, structures, designs, interactions with the audience, and primary points of view.

$!Alu & Lesung production team.

Peeking behind closed doors: Audiences as voyeurs

“Alu & Lesung” depicts the journey of an ensemble as they revisit peaceful memories from their lives, confront the harm they have endured, and strive to heal from the resulting traumas. In Malaysia, people tend to be private about their personal challenges and struggles, often keeping vulnerable moments to themselves and away from even their closest loved ones.

In this production, audiences adopt a voyeuristic perspective, peering into these intimate moments. They are taken on an unsettling journey alongside the ensemble, witnessing their experiences of physical harm, verbal assault, and mental abuse. Ultimately, the ensemble embarks on a path of healing, both within themselves and within their private spaces.

$!The cast during rehearsal.

“Alu & Lesung” is a multi-sensory performance that weaves together various episodes, all centered around the shared objective of self-recovery. The production incorporates minimal text in multiple Malaysian languages, including English, Malay, Mandarin, Hokkien, and Tamil. It also incorporates elements of movement, scent, light, sound, and digital projections.

The scenic design of the production draws inspiration from director Dexter Zhen’s fond memories of the maternal homes with Malaccan ancestry where he spent his childhood, evoking feelings of comfort and security.

$!Group photo of “So happy i could die” production team.

Redefining happiness: Audiences decide fate

“So happy i could die” is an interactive and immersive theatrical experience that prompts audiences to contemplate the true meaning of fulfillment and the consequences of the choices they make. Stepping into an unfamiliar realm, spectators collectively influence the actions of the Protagonist as they encounter Death. The question arises: will they come to terms with the end of their life, or will they avoid it at all costs? Can happiness, fulfillment, and acceptance coexist with the awareness of an impending expiration date?

Utilizing movement, practical lights, sound, scent, and elements of mythology, “So happy i could die” transports audiences into a captivating and twisted environment, where they become part of the story and must grapple with profound existential questions.

$!Digital poster “So happy i could die”

The set, designed by Jun Ong and Wee Jia Foong, will be transformed into an exhibition during non-performance hours. Audiences are invited to engage and interact with the production design beyond the boundaries of performance, allowing them to gain a more intimate understanding of the world and its themes.

Eclectism and the power of ensemble

Directed by Dexter Zhen, “Alu & Lesung” boasts an all-female ensemble comprising Aila, Lim Sheng Hui, and Tharanii Karthigesu. Syamsul Azhar handles the lighting and multimedia designs, while Iwaz takes charge of the production’s soundscape. This marks the third collaboration between Syamsul, Iwaz, and Zhen. “Alu & Lesung” will be showcased at Klpac’s Indicine from August 2 to 6, 2023.

$!Digital poster “Alu & Lesung”

“So happy i could die,“ directed by Low Yee Choy, stars Dinesh Kumar Maganathan and Mia Sara Shauki. The production set is designed by Jun Ong and Wee Jia Foong. The captivating performance of “so happy i could die” will be held at Klpac’s Indicine from August 9 to 13, 2023.

“Alu & Lesung” and “so happy i could die” are co-presented by Klpac. Standard tickets for each production are priced at RM55. For a bulk purchase of four tickets, the price is RM45 per ticket. These performances are intended for mature audiences. To buy tickets, please visit https://cloudjoi.com. Additionally, special bulk purchase deals are available for university/college bookings.

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