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  • Writer's pictureMichael Chen

STORIES FOR AMAH (27 to 30 June 2019) @ KLPAC

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Rehearsals for my first play of 2019 is in full swing right now.

We are opening in just about a week from now and I can't wait to get on the stage with this show.

The rehearsal process for this show has been quite cathartic for me. It has made me think a lot about my own grandmother, my Amah.

Two very visual memories in particular keep popping into my head:

I remember in nostalgic, rose tinted images of the modest Klang house my grandparents lived in. Rays of sunlight peeking through the zinc roof at the dining area at the back of the house. Amah would be constantly fussing around at the kitchen area. Never sitting down. Lots of loud hokkien being exchanged. Laughing, smiles and scoldings all mixed into the atmosphere while I plotted with my other cousins on what we would play after the meal.

The other memory is a little bit more sombre. When Amah was living in my family home. It was the last few years of her life. Hearing almost gone. Poor eyesight. She could barely navigate the flights of stairs without assistance. Her routine involved spending time at the dining table in the kitchen, walking up one flight of stairs to the living room to spend a few hours and then back down to the kitchen before retiring to her bedroom. My conversations with her limited to, "Amah, lu ho boh?" (Are you ok?), "Amah, lu ai ciak hamik?" (What do you want to eat?) and "Pa liao?" (Are you full?) mostly due to my inability to speak proper Hokkien but also due to her deteriorating senses.

For me, listening to the main character 'Ruth' share truths about herself and her family, to her Amah in the play; I question my own actions or lack thereof in staying connected to my family. I think of what I could do and try to build the courage to take action. Maybe you can benefit from watching this too?

The official blurb is this:

Stories for Amah was first staged in 2002, to critical and commercial acclaim. It was restaged a year later, again to full houses. It garnered 5 nominations at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards and rave reviews.

Written by Mark Beau de Silva, the play centres on Ruth de Souza, a young serani woman who is conflicted by the Chinese upbringing on her mother’s side and the Eurasian identity imposed on her by her father. 17 years later, this landmark Malaysian play that examines what it is like and what it means to grow up as a ‘lain lain’, will be revisited by its original director Joe Hasham OAM. Click here to read the full blurb & buy your tickets!

Showtimes: #Show 1 : 27th June 2019 @ 8:30 PM #Show 2 : 28th June 2019 @ 8:30 PM #Show 3 : 29th June 2019 @ 8:30 PM #Show 4 : 29th June 2019 @ 3:00 PM #Show 5 : 30th June 2019 @ 3:00 PM

Executive Producer:

Dato’ Dr. Faridah Merican Artistic Director & Director:

Joe Hasham OAM Playwright:

Mark Beau de Silva

What stories of your Amah do you have? :)

Check out a collection of pictures of the cast & crew from KLPAC in the little video together below.

Myself and the whole cast & crew can't wait to perform this. Get your tickets soon as it is a short run and you wouldn't want to miss out. See you there!

Here are more photos:

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