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  • Writer's pictureMichael Chen

What is 'Matahari Jangan Tidure, Nanti Hilang Belang'?

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

2019 is truly shaping up to be one of my most dynamic years in my life to date. In February, I wrote about this play being my first 'devised theatre' project (previous post here). At that point, I was merely a month into my new job as Malaysiakini's first Creative Director, not realising that I would leave a few months later. I was yet to be cast in 'Stories For Amah', which has already been staged to an awesome public response. And I had no idea that I would be where I am now, starting a new company that is Iron Hill Media.

Picture taken at an early rehearsal session.

The rehearsal process for #mataharijangantidure has been an interesting one for me, "Matahari is devised by a multidisciplinary ensemble. It continues director Arief Hamizan’s experimentation with creation and collaboration, following his previous original work, Api, Jangan Lupa Api (2018)."

From the beginning, I warned Arief and the rest that I'm going to be the guy at rehearsals who will constantly be asking the question, "What are we doing here?". So, I became that guy. The one that was constantly trying to push when everyone else was going with the flow.

I have been to enough experimental theatre shows where 'indulgence' becomes too much to bear. A self indulgent piece is the last thing I ever want to be associated with. I feel that 'devised theatre' pieces are only ever really good when the creative team has something to say and aren't ashamed of saying it. Creativity, talent and sincerity then adds on to the whole experience that would allow an audience member to walk out of the show moved by what they've just experienced. To me, that's good theatre. That's a good show.

The cast of #mataharijangantidure 'flocking'.

What I've loved about this experience is the fact that despite there being so many of us doing what I believe is a difficult piece of theatre, everyone is in sync. The collaborative spirit is strong in this one. Various backgrounds, experience and skill sets, all coming together to put on a meaningful show. No in-fighting. No politics. Just honest and fun hardwork.

That's magical to me and I believe it will translate into the final product that is staged.

In my first post about this play, I wrote that I usually avoided doing 'devised theatre' pieces because I do not believe that I am good enough to do a good devised show. But, I'm finally doing one now because I feel like I have something to offer. The positive vibes & energy from the entire cast and crew of #mataharijangantidure has allowed me to believe that even more.

I'm going to be doing things in this show that is quite different from every other show I've done. For one thing, I'm speaking mostly in Malay. I'll leave it at that.

I humbly invite you to come and check out this show. For me, it explores a lot about how we all feel being Malaysian and human. Right smack dab in the lead up to Merdeka. Why not kan? Click here to buy tickets & more details below -


Official Blurb:

The hum of a broken television. An inevitable speech. The last ray of sunlight. Kiamat?

Set in maybe Malaysia, Matahari Jangan Tidure, Nanti Hilang Belang gazes upon a family seeking normalcy in the aftermath of a cataclysmic event. In their newly distorted world, they struggle to piece together the fragmented ideas of nation, religion, and morality that once existed.

A myth for a modern audience, Matahari confronts the transient nature of our existence in a world that refuses to remain still.

Matahari Jangan Tidure, Nanti Hilang Belang is staged in Malay, Mandarin,and English, with English surtitles.

Some of the cast & crew of #mataharijangantidure

DATES & TIMES August 29 – September 1 @ 8.30 pm August 31 – September 1 @ 3.00 pm

WHERE Blackbox, Damansara Performing Arts Centre

TICKETS RM68 (Regular) RM58 (Concession; students, the elderly, the disabled)


PROMO! Buy 3 Free 1 (25% discount off each ticket!)

BOX OFFICE FOR PROMO TICKETS Call/WhatsApp: +60 17 265 0988 Email:

STUDENT BULK BOOKINGS (Includes special programming & complimentary tickets for teachers): Email

Poster with whole cast & crew listing.

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