Today theSun published an interview I did with Nadia Khan, the best selling author who is directing her first stage production. The full article is here
Headline: On Other Side
By Bissme S
Nadia Khan is the author of four bestselling novels and has also directed four short films. Now, she is inspired to go into directing her first stage play, one which she penned herself.
Kedai DVD Paralel is a 90-minute theatre production that attempts to bring the world of cinema into the world of theatre. It centres on Mat, a jaded entertainment journalist and movie critic who is cynical about his career and the world he lives in.
One day, Mat stumbles into a DVD store in a parallel world. He discovers that the store sells movies with the same titles as those found in his world, but with the storylines turned topsy-turvy, creating some hilarious moments.
For example, the award-winning drama Bunohan in his world has become a comedy in the parallel world, while the slapstick comedy Hantu Bonceng has been transformed into a serious, meaningful movie.
Nadia explains that she was inspired to explore what it would be like if the stories that we know turn out completely different.
She says: “I watch all kinds of films. There had been several instances when the movie I was watching was not to my liking, and my thoughts would drift to another plane where I would recreate a totally different storyline for the movie.”
She adds her play also explores how we always perceive the grass to be greener on the other side. “We are always dissatisfied with what is going on in our world and we are always dreaming about living in a place where things are supposed to be perfect.
“The play offers you the option of running away from your world and creating a whole new world.
So would you [run], or would you stay put in your world? “[If you stay put], you have a chance to fix the things that are broken and make your world a better place. [But] abandoning ship is always easier than fixing a sinking ship.”
Kedai DVD Paralel is played out with just two actors – Fathi Shafie as Mat and Safia Hanifa as Maya, the owner of the DVD store in the parallel world. Fathi is a veteran of more than 20 theatre performances.
He has also participated in the 17th World Championship of Performing Arts in Hollywood, California, in 2013. The actor only has praises for Nadia. “Even though this is her first play, Nadia knows what she is doing.”
He adds that the moment he read her script, he was immediately attracted to the content and to the many similarities he shared with the character such as their passion for their job and their striving after perfection.
Kedai DVD Paralel will open at Blackbox at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre tomorrow until Sunday. One wonders if Nadia is feeling any jitters regarding her stage debut.
“So far, no – and that is making me nervous. I do not want to have a panic attack at the last minute,” she says, laughing.
Asked to describe the experience so far, she says: “When I am directing short films, one of my shortcomings is that I am not good with visuals.
“I focus more on directing the actors and getting them to give the emotions I need for my characters.”
She feels that in theatre, as the visuals are not as vital as the performance of the actors, so basically, doing a stage play is more her cup of tea.
“I have been in love with the theatre since I was young, and directing a stage play is something I had wanted to do for the longest time,” she adds.
Nadia says she is prepared to hear any comments or criticisms about her play.
“I am willing to listen when people criticise me constructively. If I fail, then it is part of my learning curve.I really believe it is better to do something and experience failures than to not start anything at all.”
|Nadia Khan ... the director|
|Fathi... the actor playing the jaded man|
|The actors during rehearsals.|