Friday, February 12, 2010

Ada Apa Dengan Tanda?

Some of my theatre friends are in distress. Well, yes, admittedly they can be theatrical and dramatic at times, but this is a real thing.

Rumah Anak Teater (RAT) was going about, staging a play - TANDA - using proper channels at ASWARA when last week, they were chased off by security guards and are stopped from doing theatre.


Because of some whatever reason. Well, The Malay Mail had the story a few days ago. I was just too goddamn busy to get around to this.

Anyway, here is an excerpt:

The Malay Mail later learnt that a meeting had been held between Aswara rector Datuk Dr Mohamed Najib Ahmad Dawa and the play's co-directors a few hours before the performances were called off.

Apparently, the rector had highlighted his concerns over certain erotic elements in the play, about which he had been allegedly told by the academy's staff.

There was also some confusion over the approval given for staging the play at the theatre as well as an issue of donations received after the performances, despite it being staged free for the audience.

Here's the link: Click here

As a result, Namron (Tanda's artistic director) has quit as lecturer at ASWARA, with more lecturers threatening to leave as well. ASWARA has yet to do a full PC, I heard, or even a Press statement. At least none that I came across.

This sounds like nothing short of censorship.

And bullying.

I have not seen the show, but people who have gone to see it are saying that it is as erotic as your mother's bra hanging from the clothesline.

There are other, more risque shows. But that's not the point.

The point is, the freedom to stage a play has been curbed.

What is it about the play Tanda that terrifies ASWARA so much, that they would actually stand to lose their staff and students, as well as credibility, just to stop it?

I hope Namron gets the play staged elsewhere, and for people who control or manage venues to open their doors for Tanda to be staged. And for people with money, who want to be real liberals, and not just Lip-Service Liberals, or more properly-known as Lip-Stick Liberals, to come and fund this show. It's cheap.

Let the people find out for themselves what ASWARA is preventing people from seeing. I hope there is a vagina, but eyewitness acounts said no, no vagina. No nipples, either.

I'm not a Taliban, so ankles do not excite me. And neither am I a pedo-priest. I do not get excited over altar boys.

I am curious, what is it that is so very threatening in Tanda?

I hope that Namron, in his capacity of UNEMPLOYED MAN would go forth and sell Tanda as 'THE PLAY THEY DID NOT WANT YOU TO SEE' to Joe Hasham and Datuk Faridah Merican's KLPac or The Actors' Studio Lot 10 or PJLA. And perhaps throw in a bunch of naked ladies.

This work has the makings of transcending its potential, and perhaps even its quality. The hype generated by the 'Evil ASWARA' alone is worth paying RM20 bucks to go and see. Hell, I'd pay RM50 to see this shit, man!