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After Award Success, This Malaysian Play About Religion In Society Will Finally Screen Globally Online

After Award Success, This Malaysian Play About Religion In Society Will Finally Screen Globally Online

The play focuses on the role of religion in our society at a time when it’s most vulnerable.

Anne Dorall

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Award-winning play Nadirah will be streamed online for international audiences. The play was performed at Festival Tokyo in 2016, but will soon be shown to the global online stage.

Nadirah is a story about faith, love, and family. It tells the story of a proud Muslim girl from a mixed Malay-Chinese family who has to find out what her faith means to her when her mother decides to remarry a Christian man.

Although the play is set in our neighbour Singapore, Nadirah’s father is written as a Malay Malaysian while her mother is a Chinese Singaporean, a relationship that would still resonate deeply.

Nadirah explores religion and its impact on interpersonal relationships, right when this discussion is need the most.

Nadirah and her mother praying.
(Credit: The Instant Cafe Theatre Company)

The horrible thing that happened in France serves as a reminder that these kinds of conversations about different faiths have to be had.

Tan Cher Kian to TRP, referring to the murder of a French teacher who showed the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his class.

Tan Cher Kian, producer of Nadirah, notes that Malaysia discusses religion often as a multi-religious country.

The understanding of religion and the role of religion in our society have always been in Malaysian conversations.

Tan Cher Kian to TRP

However, other countries may not have the same kind of discussion, tolerance, or understanding that we do, which makes it all the more important to raise the issue.

Which is exactly why the Instant Cafe Theatre Company has decided to show the play online, open for global audiences all over the world, regardless of where they are.

(Credit: The Instant Cafe Theatre Company)

The Future Of Live Performances Will Need Its Digital Counterpart

Tan notes that while watching a play live is precious for more than just the play, the digital component of productions will most certainly be important in the future, especially with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Theatre will no longer be mutually exclusive between live shows and recorded, and it’s likely that both can happen at once, though Tan stresses that it would require professional camerwork and editing instead of a static recording.

It has always been a conscious decision to put our material online and the positive response (to previous online live shows) simply blew us away.

Tan Cher Kian to TRP

Tan notes that Nadirah has been performed live in Malaysia before, but has always only been accessible to those who lived within the Klang Valley. However, now with online streaming, they can share the experience with Malaysians all over the world, regardless of whether they live in East Malaysia or are currently overseas in a foreign country.

Nadirah will be preformed in English and Malay with subtitles for both languages so audiences won’t have to worry about not being able to hear the play clearly.

(Credit: The Instant Cafe Theatre Company)

Additionally, to complete the virtual theatre experience, there will be a chat lobby for you to engage with other viewers and friends or browse the programme before the show begins, just like in a real play.

Ticket prices vary from a range of RM8 to RM100, but the experience will be exactly the same.

The higher prices are for people to support us if they want to, and the cheaper tickets are our way of allowing everyone to experience what we have to offer, especially students of disenfranchised communities.

Tan Cher Kian to TRP

Nadirah will be shown online on 19-22 November. More information can be found on their website here. Catch their trailer below!

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