The First Lady of Malaysian theatre, Dato’ Faridah Merican brought her famous series ‘People’ to Ipoh recently.
The two-hour play, staged at RTM Perak, was casted by nine theatre and non-theatre personalities namely, Joe Hasham, Karan Hundal, Sharon Ohno, Roshinee Mookaiah, Veshalini Naidu, Ian Chow, Mark Beau De Silva, Omar Ali, Ryonn Leong and Sukhbir Cheema.
The show started at 8.30pm. “People” featured stories told by people from various fields, based on real-life issues. The stories were laced with both humour and tragedy to keep them frisky.
The play can be described as an immersive interaction between the audience and the actors themselves, when the expressions and dialogue acted out tugged at the audience’s heartstrings.
Sukhbir Cheema related a sad but true story of his life. How he lived separately from his wife and daughter due to Sikh customs and traditions where a Sikh man is only allowed to marry a Sikh woman. “It’s like letting off a burden inside me. I always feel good and positive after the show although I was afraid to recount this story of mine, initially,” he said.
Faridah said some of the stories were uncovered accidentally over a cup of coffee while others were sought out or asked to be shared. “The title ‘People’ covers everything. It revolves around the feelings, the good, the bad, the ugly and how people relate to one another. It opens a wide range of topics but nothing is made up,” said Faridah.
For Joe Hasham, the award-winning actor and director, he chose to share his experiences growing up as a Lebanese-Australian.
Theatre-goers were amazed to hear the stories. And the burning question on their minds during the play was, “Did you really go through that?”
One of them, Muhammad Faez Muhamad Wan Su, said that people come from different walks of life and cultures but they all have similarities, without really realising them.