gold rain and hailstones

Gold Rain & Hailstones - September 7 - 17, 2006 at KLPAC - Pentas 1, Starring Jit Murad and Lin Jaafar, Directed by Zahim Albakri. Call 03.4047.9000 / 03.2094.9400 for tickets.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

More Gold Rain





By RUBIN KHOO

THIRTEEN years ago, the then budding theatre personalities Jit Murad and Zahim Albakri left the highly successful Instant Cafe Theatre to set up Dramalab. The company, which was made up of just the two, was to have a different direction. Their aim was to focus on local original works.

Its very first production, Gold Rain & Hailstones written by Jit, went to receive numerous accolades. Since then, of course, there have been many others including Visits, the award-winning Split Gravy on Rice, A Flight Delayed and last year’s Separation 40, staged in collaboration with Singapore’s The Necessary Stage.
Dramalab will kick off its latest production by revisting Gold Rain & Hailstones, starring Jit Murad and Lin Jaafar.

Despite these successes and although it is made up of two of theatre’s most prominent individuals, Dramalab has always been low key compared with its counterparts The Actors Studio and The Five Arts Centre.

But the company is ready to consolidate its position with its latest production A Season of Origins and Originals, which will feature a mixture of old plays and new writings.

“We (Dramalab) have been very low profile but if you look at our resume, it is pretty impressive,” says Jit Murad during a recent interview. “So it’s about restating our mission statement, which is about nurturing and creating indigenous works only.”

What better to kick off the season than with the production that started it all? Gold Rain was written 13 years ago.

Having returned from the United States a couple of years earlier, Jit, like many others who had returned from studying abroad, was searching for his niche in the world and adjusting to life in Malaysia after being away for a significant amount of time.

The play, which centred around four best friends who studied in America who returned home, played to packed houses when it was first staged as well as when it was restaged in 1998.

But more than a decade has passed since it was first written and the question is: do the same issues still apply?
The play begins with Aminah (Amy) – a Malay woman who has been in the States for 10 years – returning to Kuala Lumpur. With her return, her friends Man, Nina and Jay start reminiscing about experiences and how their lives have changed since they returned.


“It’s a young person’s play,” says Jit. “The contents are very callow. It’s about identity, acceptance and to be honest, though, I don’t feel like that anymore.”

“However, there are many who are still searching for their identity,” says actress Lin Jaafar.

Jit and Lin who also played the characters in the previous two stagings reprise the multiple roles. The characters are young and while the actors now are a lot more experienced, stepping into the role once again doesn’t seem to be a problem.

“We know more so we are finding deeper observations of the character,” says Jit, “but the thing is not to play them with our knowledge. We’ve got to be just as naive and young.”


Lin who is back from Hong Kong for the play says: “I didn’t realise how much I missed my characters.

“They are wonderful and they speak in such clear voices. This is one of Jit’s talents as a writer.

“Some writers tend to write for their characters the way they speak, but here the characters speak in their own voices and it comes across very clearly.”

While Lin loves playing her characters Amy and Nina, she admits that she doesn’t really identify with either of them. She could never be as fearless as Amy and she’s certainly not the conservative Nina. “I would say I am a composite of all these characters, even the male ones.”

Even as a young playwright, Jit knew that when writing, he wasn’t interested in creating characters that were one-dimensional.

“I like characters that are like us – contradictory and ambiguous – think they know all the answers but actually don’t.”

Gold Rain was originally staged at The British Council and then restaged at The Actors Studio in Dataran Merdeka. This time around it will take place at the plush KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPac).

The venue has allowed director Zahim to present the production with a fresh perspective, using graphic animation from Sydney Tan and Crystal Woo, as well as sound design by Two AM Music Studios and lighting by Mac Chan.

“This time around we have a fuller budget and access to more trained theatre people. It enables us to create a different experience for those who have enjoyed the play before and a more highly technical and professional show for those who are seeing it for the first time,” he says.

Gold Rain & Hailstones takes place at Pentas 1, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) from Sept 7-17. Showtime is 8.30pm with 3pm matinee on Sunday. Tickets are priced at RM92, RM72 and RM52 and are available at 03-4047 9000. There are also ticket promotions available. For further info, visit goldrainhailstones.blogspot.com.

3 Comments:

Blogger unsui said...

Hey Guys: All The Best. Gold Rain & Hailstones will be my first theatre experience in my KL stay, & I eagerly look forward to it. See you at KLPAC :~)

11:24 am  
Blogger nakedwriter said...

Hi there.

I went for the show last night (Fri). I'm one of those front-row students thoroughly enjoying myself. It was a fantastic play - and I love the philosophical musings of the characters. Just wanna give you guys the thumbs up!

Hope to see more.

jh

10:49 pm  
Blogger dyeyen_luv_drama said...

Hi there. I was at the play last Wednesday and I got the ticket for students price and was sitting at D28 or was it E28? Oh well,it's a superb play and it's the second play since I watched 30 Days in September at BAngsar's Actor's Studio in my first year. Now, I'm in my third year. Kudos, loved the characters,the lightings and the script. Was confused at some scenes tho, like the setting of the wedding, whose wedding is it? and why is it refered to 'welcome to our wedding?'.
Anyway, it's good that we have talented people in Malaysia to bring up the issues in this play. I'm doing TESL in UPM so, yeap it's great to see you guys act.However, I was dissapointed for not meeting you guys after the play as I was with more than 15 of my coursemates. Anyway, cheers!

4:12 pm  

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