by Shazwan Zulkiffli
The conventional way to celebrate Merdeka would include sticking a small flag on your windshield, occasionally mutter the intro part of Sudirman’s Tanggal 31 lyrics, and maybe watch Dataran Merdeka’s annual Merdeka parade on national television. But this year, why don’t we bring the celebration up a notch, shall we? Because Kandang might just make this Merdeka the most memorable yet.
KLPAC presents to you Kandang, a bold adaptation of George Orwell’s written masterpiece, Animal Farm. Directed by Omar Ali, who also helmed the top chair for the sold-out show Dato’ Seri, Kandang isn’t a direct interpretation of Animal Farm, but more of a localised version that no one thought they needed – until the media preview.
The production stars Clarence Kuna, a seasoned teeth-to-teeth grinder, Nabil Zakaria as a scrawny, body-builder wannabe buffalo, and Ashraf Zain and Farah Rani, who will be playing two politically-inclined pigs with different visions in looking after Padang Jones, where all animals live in fear under the dictatorship, and care of Jones the human.
While most of us expected Kandang to be very similar to Orwell’s work, Omar Ali and his team decided to give it a Malaysian twist in the storyline, character names and even subject matter. The production is not only well-updated but also playful enough to use references and jokes derived from 2017 popular culture in delivering a strong message. There were some clear-cut Malaysian political satire references portrayed that were too brutally honest for the naive to digest, but frankly, isn’t something as beautiful and at the same time, staggering as this was the missing essence in our robotic days and Buletin Utama nights?
Kandang may raise questions that might make you squirm in your seats, but that’s the best part about it. It’s no glittery wine and cheese, because Kandang may rock your system – and you may not even be prepared for it. Out of all the things you can do during this merdeka month, Kandang might be the one to introduce you to a perspective that you might want to consider.
Date: August 10th to 13th, 2017
Venue: Pentas 2, KLPAC