Sunday, February 19, 2012

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me

When I was told to lead Ministry of Tourism Malaysia office in Penang, I somehow got mix feelings... excited and nervous. Penang is my dad's birthplace and we often spend the holidays there but somehow I felt like going back to a strange city.

I had 2 main things in my mind then ... repackage the attractions and develop Penang Arts and Cultural Scene. Branding and packaging prove to be a very, very tedious work ... lots of networking, lots of negotiations, lots of patience, lots of rationalising and lots of eating hahaha. With different political parties ruling the State and Federal government certain things didn't progress smoothly.

But I will forever remember this law principle during my Ministry of Housing days that "the contract should be complementing, not contravening to the Act". So I decided that I should not be competing, but complementing my fellow competitors but in doing so, I will do it with style ... just like the Blue Ocean Strategy. With the Penang State Tourism inclining towards cultural, I focus my energy into arts ... any form of arts - especially the modern and contemporary ones. 

Recently the performing arts scene in Penang has become more vibrant with the opening of Penang Performing Arts Centre last year in Straits Quay, Penang. The art centre was built through a partnership between E&O Berhad and The Actors Studio (Malaysia). E&O has contributed a lot to the music and performing arts scenes in Penang. During Penang Tourism Action Council time, they sponsored close to a million for the Penang World Music Festival. 

To "mencemar duli" my first play or show at Penangpac, I decided to watch Someone Who'll Watch Over Me directed by Joe Hafsham yesterday. It was actually restage after a successful run in Kuala Lumpur.

The play deals with three men, an Englishman, an Irishman and an American who are taken hostage and held in a filthy, windowless cell in Beirut.  They are unsure of what the future holds for them. Will they see the light of day again? Will they see their families again? These are questions they do not have the answer for. As they fight to survive and stay sane, they escape into their fantasy worlds by shooting films or reliving Wimbledon, they provoke and taunt each other, they comfort each other and simply hang on…

After watching this play last night ... I asked Vincent, my projectpenang leader and good friend ... "Are you going to blog about the show?" He looked at me bewildered.

"Honestly, I quite blur about the show."

I couldn't blame him as I myself couldn't understand or couldn't get some of the lines, cracking my brain to digest and translate from American to Irish to English. To a certain extend, I suddenly found myself not that "open-minded" on reference made about God, religions, countries or race. Maybe because "lama sangat bekerja dalam suasana yang sikit-sikit isu sensitif". Hahaha... okay I was tempted to watch the play because of the review plus I miss indulging in modern and contemporary performing arts again. Seriously, I miss miss miss to be in the "cultured society" again hahahha

Next week, Vincent, Doris and myself will be challenging ourselves and see how open-minded we are about VAGINA issues. The Vagina Warriors, a drama play inspired by Eve Ensler's feminism master piece "The Vagina Monologue", aimed to knock down stereotypical thoughts about feminine, gender and sexuality, despite the fact that Malaysia is a conservative country where Patriarchal practice is just too strong to abolished. To be performed by the newly formed Neighborhood Performance Group wish to bring up unconventional ideas about VAGINA

Hmmmm ... interesting.


norzah said...

Oh my God, Rambomadonna, i've overlooked many of your new entries and i've just broused over all of them to get an idea of how much i've missed. Just too much and i can't comment on all, much as i wanted to. So i'll just ramble away on the impressions that linger in my mind.

"Someone Who will Watch Over Me" sounds at first like a self analysis of your experience in Penang, full of fervor and anxiety with some undercurrent of frustration. I like the part where you realised that you're going to lead the tourism promotion programs in you dad's birthplace and home. Must be a great feeling. I wanted more but you moved on to the play whose title you adopted for your entry. A very intriguing play it seems to me which could only be held up by some fantastic charaterization. But you jumped on to Vagina Warriors - another intriguing play. You got mr really excied there especially aftet i realized that the picture of what appears like a red hibiscus had a very shapely stalk.

The entry about Missing something although you have had a lot of wonderful life and experience in KL and Penang, endorses what I said in my blog. i see the cheeky Jaime reminescing with togue in cheek and i love the nuances in your statement about missing the physicals. ( did i misread?). I tell you, J, in this regard fantacies are sometimes better than the real thing. Butvso is life, hehehe.

Finally about the Bangkok trip, the picyures are really wonderfull. Hey, you really make the wax figures blush. Any boyfriend would certainly get jealous. That includes me, oopps.

So, Rambomadonna, you're back with your literary flaire and i enjoyed reading the entries. Yes you're too thouhtful now and the little cheeky girl is often lost behind the mature Jaime. Anyway I love both of them. Keep writing.

rambomadonna said...

Hellllloooooooooo Norzah! Great to see your comment (finally) in this humble blog of mine. Yes, I promised myself to write more this year (on various topics as well) ... plus I think I must be daring about it too ... U know, I have always look foward to your comment! Especially on some heavy topics.

I stopped short about explaining further on what I think and am doing in Penang as it may attracted unwanted attentions (hints hints)

I haven't watched a play for ages and suddenly when I finally got to see one ... the plot and issues were "heavy" to me. But I still find myself laughing away (and sad)till the very end. The actors were soooooooooooooo passionate.

The Missing Home entry sort of like a spin-off from your previous entry. I tried to explain it from my personal experience and perspective. Missing the "physical" .... oh yes ... "very miss" hahahaha

The Bangkok trip was written that way ... lengthy, detail and with better quality photos as I contributed and link it to TripAdvisor. Not my style of writing but I guess, many tourists deserved to be given the right information.

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