By Culture Editor
Photos courtesy of KLPAC
With Malaysia Day just round the corner, The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat in partnership with ArtsFAS, Yayasan Hasanah and Ministry of Finance will be presenting an eye-opening reimagining of a classic Malaysian story. Directed by Joe Hasham OAM, “JEBAT” is set to make its world premiere on 16 September and will run until 24 September in Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s Pentas 1.
This brand new play was written by U-En Ng who possesses two decades’ experience in journalism and publishing, having served as the biographer to various leaders. He wrote the libretto to the multi-award winning musical “Ismail The Last Days”, also directed by Hasham. It won seven BOH Cameronian Arts Awards including Best Original Book and/or Lyrics.
Earmarked as The Actors Studio’s biggest production for 2023 boasting almost 40 performers, this modern reimagining of a Malaysian classic surrounding the life and tragic death of Hang Jebat is set in a post-apocalyptic Malaysia where constant war and strife abound. It unfolds the plight of Hang Tuah’s loyalty to his king as opposed to Jebat’s desire for freedom, love and respect.
Director Hasham has assembled quite a team to bring his vision to life. One of the first tasks was to have Silat Master Danial Nawawi, who has 18 years of experience, train the cast in this traditional martial arts form. While Nawawi focused on the technical aspects aided by fellow Martial Arts Expert Keith Toh, Choreographer Zhafir Muzani choreographed the slick and exciting fight scenes and movement.