The Curse : A Truly Bewitching Performance!

No Comments// Posted in novel, the curse, theatre by on 06.23.11.

Last Saturday, I had the chance of watching the premiere of ‘The Curse…A New Beginning’  at Dewan Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). I was there on behalf of my principal who couldn’t make it to the play. She was the former principal of SMK Permas Jaya 3, the school that organised this spectacular event.

The invitation card. I was impressed with the array of top sponsors that supported the staging of this theatre. I am sure it was not an easy feat yet, they successfully pulled it off, kudos SMK Permas Jaya 3! I love the way the Curse’s director, Ms. Hafeeza Sulong remarked on her students’ performance, They might be ordinary but they have extraordinary talents!” Indeed, they shone and lit up our fervent interests towards English Literature. I am sure anyone who was present during the theatre would vouch on how mesmerising the performance was.   

For those who would like to read up or enhance your understanding on Lee Su Ann’s The Curse, you can do so at this link. If you miss the performance last week, fret not. The team would be touring in selected venues in Johor. I will watch the theatre again next week, this time accompanying my Form 5 students. I’m not commissioned to promote this theatre but I couldn’t help but to sing praises to it.  Please go and watch the play if you can, it’s worth it!

18th June 2011
Dewan Sultan Iskandar, UTM Skudai
2nd July 2011 
Dewan Serbaguna Johor Jaya, Johor
9th July 2011 
Dewan Pekembar Pagoh, Muar, Johor
16th July 2011 
Dewan Jubli Intan Jalan Genuang, Segamat
23rd July 2011 
Dewan SRJK (C) Chong Hwa, Kluang  
HOTLINE : 010-8259005 , 010-8259006 , 017-2885298
TIME : 8.30am – 11.30am , 2.30pm – 4.30pm , 8.30pm – 11.30pm

Allow me to share an article from The New Straits Times on ‘The Curse…A New Beginning’ where I gave a comment on the performance.

‘The Curse’ lifted by a gifted cast

By Shenton Thomas De Silva

THE Parent-Teacher Association of SMK Permas Jaya 3, Pasir Gudang, recently staged The Curse, a spellbinding theatre play, at Dewan Sultan Iskandar, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Johor Baru. More than 3,000 students from several schools were in attendance.

The play is based on the Malaysian novel by Lee Su Ann, about a girl traumatised by the murder of her sister.

Last year, the school performed The Pearl at Dewan Serbaguna, Johor Jaya, which attracted about 2,700 students. The Pearl is based on a novel by John Steinbeck.
School principal Kamisah Aziz, said theatre and drama would encourage creativity in the students, and promote the use of English.

“The show involved students of all races, in line with the 1Malaysia concept,” she said.

Kamisah said the school would continue to stage more of such performances if the response was encouraging.

The play, organised with the help of the Johor Education Department, will next be presented at Dewan Serbaguna in Johor Jaya on July 2. Show times are from 8.30am to noon, and 8pm to 11pm.

Johor Education Department academic management sector deputy head Abu Talib Abdullah, who is also the Bahasa Malaysia department principal assistant director; English department principal assistant director Shanmuganathan Suppiah, and Pasir Gudang district education office English language officer Baharuddin Ishak were among those involved in the organisation of the play.

It was produced with the help of Yayasan Warisan Johor and Akademi Seni Budaya & Warisan Kebangsaan Johor (Aswara).

Talib, who opened the play, hoped the staging of The Curse would generate more students’ interest in theatre.

“This is also a step forward in efforts to improve the standard of English among students in the state,” he said in his speech.

Talib said involvement in theatre would keep students away from negative activities.

Shanmuganathan, meanwhile, said the play was “educative, informative and entertaining”.

“I would personally give the performance 10 out of 10,” he said.

The English department principal assistant director expressed the hope that it would spur students to join or start drama or theatre clubs in their schools.

SMK Taman Tun Aminah student E. Povaneswari, 17, said the play taught her a new way to improve her English.

Her schoolmate Wong Hui Shan, 17, said she was encouraged to read more English books after watching it.

“The plot and dialogue were easy to follow,” she said.

Huda Mansor, 17, from SMK Sultan Alauddin, loved the teamwork displayed by the cast.

She said the actors performed well as they managed to evoke varied responses from the audience.

“They made us cry and laugh. We were able, in a way, to join them in the story.”

Johor Baru district education officer for secondary schools Ruzana Saat said the students delivered an excellent performance.

Nor Fadzleen Sa’don, who teaches at SMK Tasek Utara, Johor Baru, said the students performed beyond all expectations.

The actors rehearsed between five and eight hours a day for four months.

Production manager Munira Abdul Razak, 25, believed that the cast would have done even better if they had had more time to rehearse.

Director Hafeezah Sulong, 34, lauded the actors for their admirable achievement despite their lack of proficiency in English.

She was particularly impressed by Norsyahirah Ahmad Tarmizi, 17, who played the lead character Azreen Saleh.

Norsyahirah managed to memorise 36 pages of script in three weeks.

“She has great potential,” said Hafeezah.


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