Wednesday, September 2, 2015

In the year 1967, an actor I became

1969 as the
Government  Inspector

In the year 1967, an actor I became.  I mean how at the fragile age of 16 would I be so interested in joining the Drama Club while studying Form Four at  Tanjong Lobang School, Miri?  We set a wonderful tradition for the school by producing an English drama every year for the school as well as the  Miri public’s  enjoyment from 1967 -1969.  The school’s principal, Mr. Robert Nichol was an ardent lover of drama and in fact wrote or adapted a few of the plays himself.  The most well-known was the play “The Government Inspector” which made me famous  for my role as the, guess what? – the Government Inspector.  For many years later I when I bumped into many ex-Tanjong students they could vividly remember the night of the play when I had the audience in stitches.  I love acting for many reasons but mainly for the confidence-building, social interactions, disciplined training and a tool to improve one’s English.  The plays I took part during my Tanjong days were; ‘The Government Inspector”, “ Pillars of the Community”, “Charley’s Aunt” and “ Tamu di Bukit Kenny” (Malay drama). 

Years down the road, in 1975 while a teacher at the Bintulu Government Secondary School or Sekolah Menengah Kerajaan Bintulu, I produced a children’s theatre called “Dewi Bunga” in Bahasa Malaysia.  The play was performed at the school’s stage to much amazement of the audience who never had  seen a drama or play in which humans assumed  the characters of animals and plants.  I was so driven to stage the play that it did not matter that most of the expenses were borne by me.  I just had to make it happen.
I would expect that today , in my adult life, in this new millennium, there would be more plays staged in Bintulu or other towns in Sarawak for the public to see.  Alas, this is not the scenario.  In this respect the town has not build up a cultural life that can contribute ‘ soul ‘ to the town or city of the future.  We have laid down the foundations, and would love to see newer generations continue with a good tradition.
Happy Malaysia Day, Sarawak.

Charley's Aunt - list of actors and roles
Performers and officials from Tanjong Lobang College in a group photograph.  Date: 31 May, 1969.
The concert was named "Malam Lagu dan Drama", organised by the members of the college's Muslim League .
In the drama "Tamu di Bukit Kenny" I took the role of Bang Man.  The tall figure in the middle at the back row is our principal, Mr. Robert Nichol.

A Children Theatre entitled " Dewi Bunga" perfomed by students of Sekolah Menengah Kerajaan Bintulu in 1975.
The play was opened for the public as well as students to enjoy.

A page from my dairy..1969
(Note: This is the 2nd of my post on what it is meant to be a Malaysian as part of my writing contribution to Malaysia Day which will  to be celebrated on the 16th of September.)

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