Monday, 7 July 2008

air con

Synopsis : A school. A dead body. A scandal...

Chep and Burn are top students in Sekolah Menengah Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Mukarram Shah, an elite school in Kedah. Burn is the school’s golden boy (Head Prefect, Captain of the Hockey Team) and his best friend Chep is feared and admired by the younger boys for his quick temper and skill on the hockey field.

The school is well respected for its strong academic and sports record. However the discovery of a dead prostitute in the abandoned railway tracks near their school unravels the status quo and we discover a less golden world of bullying, sex crimes and violence.

Best friends William and Asif go from innocence to experience as they are caught up in the repercussions of the murder. But who is really responsible for the murder, and will they be held accountable?

Air Con challenges and interrogates the hypocritical habit of turning youth into scapegoats in times of moral panic. Ultimately, it casts a gentle albeit unflinching gaze at the perilous path of male adolescence, and interrogates the heartbreaking ways in which society often expects boys to become men.

Air Con is award winning singer-songwriter Shanon Shah’s first full-length play, developed under the banner of The Instant Cafe Theatre Company's (ICT) FIRSTWoRKS playwriting programme.

Directed by Jo Kukathas and Zalfian Fuzi and introducing Amerul Affendi, Firdaus Che Yahaya, Hazarul Hasnain, Nick Davis, Ryan Lee Baskaran and Zahiril Adzim. Also featuring performances by Nam Ron, Chew Kin Wah, Dara Othman and Ismady Wakiri.


what can i say... i'm just so so glad i watched this. Zahim wasn't exaggerating when he said "go watch this,its the best play i've watched in years." Pat and Chedd had also been the day before me, and told me i MUST MUST MUST go. and that no, i shouldn't bring dani and mila to THIS one!

i TOTALLY agree with what Sumit Mandal said on kakiseni:

I watched Air Con last night and thought it gave me so much more than promised by the synopsis and promotional material of the play. Its tagline is "A school. A murder. A scandal." Its poster simply portrays two young men in their white school uniforms set against greenery.

What the ten performers deliver, however, is an epic story about growing up male in this society. They show how blurred are the lines between sexual identities and what the consequences are of conformity - especially when harshly enforced. At what cost do we become regular boys and girls? The performers tell the story with great humour as well as emotional depth and agility. It will stay with me for a long time and I hope many get to see it.

Sean Ghazi too said :

AIR CON is our 'Dead Poets' Society. Amazing writing, direction and acting. Needs to be made into a film. And needs to be seen by everyone.

for me, it was refreshing to see a whole bunch of new faces on stage, and some very fresh and daring new writing by shahnon. hats off to jo kukathas and zalfian for very delicately managing this potentially sensational and sensitive topic of male sexuality , bullying, physical and psychological abuse and what triggers it off. i'm glad i got to catch the matinee performance, gladder still that i made effendi sit through it with me (though he would shift uncomfortably or dart a few glances in my direction everytime an actor used a swear word! he's probably thinking about how we almost brought our kids along before checking with chedd if it was appropriate for kids!)

to me, Air Con is a wonderful sign that the arts is alive in Malaysia, and our artists are as brave and fresh as they should be.

No comments: