One-Act Play Festival 2020 Review: Day 1

Literature and Drama Society (LADS) are back with the event where the UNM students look forward to! This year LADS presented us with 9 plays in the 2-day event of One Act Play Festival. On the first day, there was 5 plays and all of it got the audience eyes’ fixed to the stage from beginning until the end.

Deja Vu

Written and directed by: Chua Rou En
Casts: Aida Assilah (Crystal), Muhammad Amiruddin (Jazz), Ahmad Daniel (Bartender)
Bittersweet Band members: Muhammad Haziq Adil, Wang Yee Neng, Suraj Vickraman

The festival kicked off with the tale of a woman named Crystal. She drowned herself in dreams induced by alcohol and with every different night of different alcohol, different memories of her past resurfaced. Crystal’s first dream was about how she was in a new relationship with Jazz. They were both a happy couple who made promises and offered the world to each other.

However, next sips of alcohol display their relationship going downhill. For every dream she had, Crystal shared it with the ever-listening bartender. Eventually, Crystal met Jazz but she couldn’t tell what was real and what is not. She happily greeted Jazz only to be angrily shrugged off and eventually left by Jazz. What happens next was a surprise as the Bittersweet Band came on the stage and sing their original with the cast for a sweet closure to the play.

It is indeed a Dejavu to plenty of the audience who could relate to what happened to Crystal. The play was geniusly arranged as the portrayal and flow of events was smooth and creative. Ending it with the performance by the Bittersweet Band was a heal to Crystal’s sadness.

Here In Spirit

Written and directed by: Muhammad Aqil bin Faris Najhan
Casts: Wan Naylie Zahra (Marnie), Ashmeeta (Ellie), Sarah Czarina (Madame Salema), Aisyah Batrisyia (Katie)

Marnie and Ellie went to seek help from Madame Salema who claims to be able to communicate with the spirits of the dead. From the beginning Marnie was skeptical while Ellie urged her to give Madame Salema a go as that was their only chance. As the two girls communicated with Madame Salema further, we get to know that they wanted to communicate with Katie who have passed away. Reason being, Marnie and Ellie felt responsible for Katie’s death and their separation was unsettled.

Katie died in a car accident while FaceTiming with her two friends. Marnie decided to give the benefit of the doubt to Madame Salema and turns out it actually paid off when Katie took over Madame Salema’s body. Through that, Katie could communicate with Marnie and Ellie and later on Katie decided to temporarily take a physical form to interact with her best friends. It ended with three of them giving their final goodbye and promises, to meet each other again in the after life.

The play was a touching one involving the theme of friendship. The script and acting was well done as there was a balance between suspense, humour and awe throughout the play. It was a sad yet feel good play to watch, thanks to the balance of elements.

Almost

Written and directed by: Ain Nabila
Casts: Wan Nurshafiqah Firzana (Riana), Yasser Dudayef (Adam)

Almost got the audience witnessing a blind date between Adam and Riana. It was an interesting interaction between the two as they both were shy in the beginning. Riana however, made the first move in sparking the conversation. Thankfully Adam wasn’t that awkward and kept the conversation going. At first, it went as usual as they talk about colours, the sky and hobbies. When Adam said that he has never watched a movie and instead was more of a podcast guy, it did not only get Riana curious but the audience as well.

When they had only few minutes left, Adam offered to hold hands with Riana which she rejected for the first time, but agreed to on second thought. To Riana’s surprise, she felt comfortable and safe in Adam’s hands. When the time was up, Adam said “It is a blind date indeed.” And only then Riana finally discovered that Adam is blind. However, by then Adam had gotten up and started walking away. Riana too got up to catch up with him before the lights when out. It was “almost” indeed.

The play caught the audience by surprise by the way it was conveyed that Adam was blind. It was such a heart-warming play as it portray two strangers who instantly connect with each other in a short time. The director and the actors got all the crowd go every few moments all the way until the ending.

Sponsorship Shoutout

Written by: Andrew Ng & Shizen Wong
Directed by: Amanda Angela Danker
Casts: Andreay Hyllde (Mr. Po), Ekaterina Rebenok (Katya)

Now this is play had one brilliant introduction to start it off. Right after the intermission, the emcee announced that the sponsor for OAPF, Mr. Po was going to give a few words. There was only one chair on the stage, and it got all the audience curious. Laughter and cheer erupted the moment they realise “Mr. Po” was actually an actor. He was there to give some explanation on his company’s latest product, which was a chair designed by Mr. Po himself.

Mr. Po called one of the audience, a model named Katya to try sit on the chair while he talked more. He explained that he got the inspiration of the design from his late mother who used to sit on the chair and hold him when he was a child. He created it in order to bring back the moments he had with his mother. The audience was shook when Mr. Po was possessed by his own thoughts and got on the chair while harassing Katya. Katya used all her strength to break free from Mr. Po’s madness and ran away. Few seconds later, Mr. Po realised what he has done and continue his talk normally as if nothing happened. Shortly, he then left the stage while everyone still haven’t recovered from what just happened.

The play was genius in the sense that it was integrated with OAPF event that it felt very natural instead of a fantasy play. From the start it got the crowd curious as to what will happen because we thought, “What could go wrong?” and we were proven wrong. It deserves applause for its flawless flow of plot.

The Wordless Waltz

Written and directed by: Arathi Jane Reddy
Casts: Kamesh Krishnamurari (Man), Dida Khairullah (Son), Ranjetha (Woman), Tan Jie Ying (Co-worker), Muhammad Amry (Publisher)

The Wordless Walt took a bold approach by going wordless (just like the title suggest) and it actually paid off. The tale touches the life of 2 different people, progressing through life in striving for success. The first one being a man, who competes to get his book published. However, in the beginning he struggles to produce a good draft and tried to copy another author’s work. The publisher gave him another chance for him to prove himself before the decision was being made.

The man then went to find inspiration and met a boy who had creative ideas and helped him with his draft. The man then met the mother’s boy, who at first disapprove the boy’s involvement and instead insist on him studying before the man telling her how good the boy is. The story interconnect with each other as it tells another side of it where the woman was actually into dancing but she didn’t try before as she felt that she didn’t get any support from anyone including her son. However, she met a dancer who encouraged her to take the first move and eventually she braved herself and finally took the next step.

The play was a good ending to the night for the first day of OAPF as it ended with a positive note. It reminds us that everyone has their own dreams, but with it comes the struggle. We must not give up and be persistent to achieve what we want, because in the end it is our own life that we are responsible to. The play deserves a recognition because although there was not a word spoken throughout the play, it was really lively as the director interact with the audience and the actors had to use their expression to portray every scene and emotion.

The first day of One-Act Play Festival was amazing as all of the 5 plays played their role in packing a punch keeping the audience entertained and wanting more. All in all LADS, the directors, actors and the crew members gave a solid performance in making it a memorable night for everyone who attended.

Written by Ismail Merican

Photographed by Tan Jean Minn Jamie

Comments are closed.