I will be watching theater production called Walls on this coming Friday. I have interviewed the two directors and one lead actor of the production. The story appeared in the sun on Nov 5. It sounds an interesting production. Read the full interview here
Suggested Headline: A Different Reality.
By Bissme S
WHY do you still want to live when everyone you love is gone? That is the theme director Hari Azizan is exploring in her latest theatre production entitled Walls.The play also explores what values and rules will mean to us when we are the only person in the world.
The story centres on a woman who wakes up one morning and finds an invisible wall isolating her from the world. She is the only human being in her new prison. With only nature and animals for
company, she tries her best to survive and make sense of the surreal world that she is trapped in.
“I wanted to know what motivates this particular character to continue her life,” says Hari who has also directed other theatre production such as The Vagina Monologues and S.O.S Times.
“When I started this production, I asked myself what I would do if I were in the character’s shoes. I still have not figured out the proper answer, yet. Most probably, I will wait to die.”
This 80-minute theatre production under the banner of Five Arts Centre will premiere at the Black Box in Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday and runs till Nov 17.
The stage has been turned into a surreal forest filled with various animals. But the creatures which make a constant appearance are a cow, dog and civet cat.
The concept of the play brings to mind the recent Oscar-winning Hollywood film The Life of Pi where a boy is stranded in a small boat in the middle of the ocean with a few animals.
“First of all, there is no sea in this play,”says Hari, laughing. “Ours is more about an understanding of one another and in this case, the other happens to be animals.
“The play tells us that different species of life can live together if they make an effort. The play also explores our relationship with nature.”
Hari explains that the script for this play was influenced by a Germany novel The Wall by Austrian writer Marlen Haushofer. The book was later made into a film in 2012, directed by Julian Pölsler.
The production has only two cast members – actress Mislina Mustaff and theatre performer Chi Too.Mislina, who has been acting for 20 years, plays the isolated woman while Too plays her husband as well as a dog. The actress says: “Looking at some of the scenes [in this play], the audience will probably say: ‘This is silly but it is true’ and they will laugh.”
Hari adds: “This is not a comedy or a slapstick. We, Malaysians, always hide behind humour whenever we face an intense situation. We make stupid jokes and just laugh at our serious problems.”
Co-director Wong Tay Sy, however, describes Walls as a fun play to watch.
“It will keep the audience wondering whether the wall separating the character from the world really exists or is she imagining it,” says Wong who is also a visual artist.
When asked what she would do if she were in the lead character’s situation, she says tongue-in-cheek: “Since I am the only person in the world, I would not bother to wear any clothes. Then I do not have to wash any.”
When asked what the audience should expect, Mislina says: “Some madness. We all go crazy in our own room where we know no one is watching us. What the character finds is that things from her old world doesn’t make sense anymore in her new situation; and what she finds in her new world doesn’t make sense either.”
Mislina points out that she and her character share some similarities. “I have come to a stage in my life where I am more comfortable with animals than human beings.
“Not so long ago, I had a discussion with some friends and I said: ‘We should live like animals. They eat when they want to eat. They sleep when they want to sleep. They play all the time. They love whoever loves them. They are impulsive and lead a simple life’.”
And if she were to be trapped like her character, Mislina says she would gladly turn herself into an animal to blend with nature and the animals around her.
“Most probably, I will try to act as a monkey living on a tree.”
When asked if she is under pressure to perform, she replies: “When it comes to performing, I always imagine myself as a child and I say to myself: ‘This is my playground, I can do whatever I want and enjoy the playground."