Saturday, November 15, 2008

Macbeth at ASWARA

Aah... Macbeth. Probably one of the more renowned plays of Shakespeare's works. All that talk about power, ambition and murder is enough to make anyone's hair stand on end. If it doesn't, then the blast of air-conditioning in the theater hall would ensure that for you. I don't know why but theater halls tend to always be extremely cold.

Anyways, no literature student can go through life and not know about the notorious uncle-killing nephew with his beautiful & ambitious yet cold-hearted wife. So when ASWARA students decided to stage this particular play I was like "Cool!". I havent seen a staging of Shakespeare's work in ages so to actually see one staged in Bahasa Melayu would definitely be interesting. To make things even more interesting, my cousin Nazzim is playing the part of McDuff, the guy who ends up beheading Macbeth.

I must admit that I was a little skeptical about the idea of the play being Bahasa Melayu. I mean the whole play is complicated enough being in English, but to translate it into Malay and do it justice? Hmm... that was definitely the question going through my head. But I've definitely learnt to never underestimate the power of the Malay language. The translation was amazingly done. Kudos to Ahmad Yatim for succesfully capturing the essence of the entire play and at the same time showcasing the beauty of the Malay language. I was enthralled from beginning to end. There were words that I heard that night which I never thought existed. Two thumbs up to the writer.

As for the play itself, the ASWARA students were definitely in their element. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were cast perfectly and they were totally believable and the rest of the cast were simply icing on the cake. Nazzim (McDuff) beheaded Macbeth beautifully at the end but the goriness of the scene was so intense people just can't help but laugh. Not saying that the scene was funny, but you know, once in an uncomfortable situation laughter always diffuses the mood.

The only thing that I didn't get was why their costumes were smudged up and dirtied. It just doesn't make sense to me. But if the ASWARA folks interpreted these people living in a state of dishevellement and shabbyness even as royalty, then so be it.

All in all it was an enjoyable play. Although I managed to get in for free the rm5 ticket would definitely have been money well spent.

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