4 Jun – 14 Jun 2015
Damansara Performing Arts Centre, Kuala Lumpur
25 Jun – 11 Jul 2015
Drama Centre Theatre, Singapore
50 years ago, Singapore and Malaysia divorced after a brief marriage of two years. But, doomed lovers that we are, we just can't stay away from each other, no matter how often we squabble over water, airspace and food. We toil in each other’s cities, relax on each other’s islands and get fined on each other’s roads. We laugh at each other’s laws but envy each other’s liberties; separated by history, we are united by our dreams for a better home.
Directed by Singapore’s Ivan Heng and Malaysia’s Jo Kukathas, Another Country takes us on a trip through our shared memories and divergent dreams with the most provocative, humorous and unlikely texts, curated by Singaporean playwright Alfian Sa’at and Malaysian playwright Leow Puay Tin.
From Singapore, we have texts taken from a Catherine Lim short story, a Michael Chiang play, the Singapore Ministry of Culture’s anthem to our glorious but short-lived union in 1963 and more, all to be delivered by a cast of Malaysia's most acclaimed actors.
Meanwhile, five of Singapore's finest actors boldly tackle the Malaysian texts, which include excerpts from a Jit Murad play, Mark Teh's salutation and Tunku Abdul Rahman’s recounting of his dream before the race riots of 13 May 1969.
Will we find more similarities, or more things to squabble over? Will we recognise our homes in each other’s stories? To whom do these stories belong? And, most important of all... to whom does Hainanese chicken rice really belong?
Advisory16 (Some Mature Content)
Directors Ivan Heng & Jo Kukathas
Curators Alfian Sa’at & Leow Puay Tin
Lighting Designer Adrian Tan
Sound Designer The Gunnery
Costume Designer Ix Wong
Make-Up Designer Beno Lim (M.A.C.)
Production Manager Leong Mun Hoi
Stage Manager Justina Khoo
Producers Tony Trickett & June Tan
Siti Khalijah Zainal
“A delightful thoughtful sampler platter of the riches both countries have to offer, both on the page, and on stage… Another Country captures how far both nations have drifted from each other, and yet how close they remain, trading both barbs and bouquets in the same breath, as well as laughter and tears.”SPH The Straits Times, LIFE!
"This is a play in which a standing ovation will be given without thought, it is a play that demands to be watched... Another Country was without pretence but was brilliant and spot-on in its satire, refusing to be bogged down by the seriousness of issues discussed.”WhatsNext.sg
“Sa’at and Leow have evidently spent a lot of effort in their selection. The result was an exquisite composition of literary works, varied in their cast number, tempo, language (dialects even) and most impeccable topics. From Michael Chiang's work on transsexuals to an animated cooking of chicken rice, it was like a ‘jukebox play’. Not at all piecemeal in its delivery, but gave the audience a sampling opportunity of some of the finest works Malaysia and Singapore has to offer... The acting ensembles from both countries were undoubtedly very strong.”justwatchlah.com
“W!LD RICE’s Another Country showcases the finest talents from Malaysia and Singapore! Definitely a MUST WATCH! An incredibly interesting concept that involves immaculate collaboration between these two teams from Singapore and Malaysia. This cross-cultural project has surprised me on how all the text excerpts can be merged seamlessly into such an enjoyable play. Another highlight is its multi-racial and multi-talented cast. It features ten of the finest acting talents on both sides of the Causeway...”Element Magazine
“All of the actors, both Malaysians and Singaporeans, are superb as they took on a multitude of roles, accents, ages, races and physical attributes. Overall, Another Country not only enables one to learn more about the history of both countries through these texts, but acknowledges the differences between the two. And this play also proves that, despite those differences, when the two countries come together to make art, Fadzilah Amin’s concluding poem Dance summarises the effect judiciously: ‘If only at one point our hands would clasp, What rich variety of movement and gesture could be ours.’”BlogCritics.org
“Another Country goes beyond political sensitivities and squabbles over food, although these are not issues which it shies away from. The stage becomes a space where we can explore our uncomfortable colonial history, border crossings, racial divisions, and universal human conditions. At the core of it, Another Country does what theatre is supposed to do – it entertains and leaves you immersed in its world long after the lights have gone off.”The Malaysian Insider
“The collaborative piece is definitely unitary, reminding us of the shared history and heritage between our southern brethren and us, despite the oft-begrudging denials on both sides. For once, it's a win-win situation for Malaysian and Singapore! 9/10 GO WATCH IT.”star2.com
“Breathtaking, emotional and poignant… It seems like the cast and crew of Another Country wants us to love Malaysia and Singapore like they do – passionately and unconditionally, warts and all. At a time when it is easier to spew hate rather than affection, this sort of reminder of what is great about both our countries is a welcome balm of camaraderie, mutual respect and affection.”The Edge Financial Daily
“Eyes were refreshed, ears re-tuned, hands held and hearts healed by the show’s many points of inclusion that attendees could accept or reject, dream or weep about, or simply laugh away. There was also excellence in terms of stagecraft. The show didn’t just criticise; Another Country dared to create. There was room to believe in the impossible, however naïve and romanticised it might be in this time of cynicism and schism. Krishen Jit would surely have been pleased and proud of Heng and Kukathas for being so explorative with their ‘counter conduct’, while perhaps also being kinder to audiences.”The Daily Seni