Playwright Nassim Soleimanpour wants you to fill in the BLANK

Playwright Nassim Soleimanpour wants you to fill in the BLANK

No set. No director. A story open to the public and completed by the audience.

A story machine to create new stories every night. Come join us and help us fill in the Blanks.

 

Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour made a name for himself with his play White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, which has been performed by actors such as Whoopi Goldberg, Alan Cumming, and John Hurt. In 2016 The Instant Café Theatre Company staged it in Malaysia in 3 languages using actors such as Sharifah Amani, Kuah Jenhan, Iedil Putra, Ghafir Akbar, and Ling Tang.

 

BLANK — performance curated in Kuala Lumpur by JO KUKATHAS with different performers every night. Every night a different performer is the storyteller and a member of the audience becomes the character, deciding what they want to tell us of their life. The performer will also read from a script he or she has never seen — let alone rehearsed. Some words in that script are, as the title of the play suggests, left blank for the actor and the audience to fill in. And so a new story is created collaboratively and immediately in the theatre every night.

 

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

NASSIM SOLEIMANPOUR is an independent multidisciplinary theatre-maker from Tehran, Iran. His plays have been translated into 20 languages. Best known for his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, written to travel the world when he couldn’t, his work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe) as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award.

 

MEDIA REVIEW

“Blank offers a more intimate, touching, and compassionate platform for the participant to consider their own mortality.”

(Elliot Roberts, The List, Edinburgh)

Genre: Theatre

 

Venue:

H-01, DPAC, Empire Damansara,

Jalan PJU 8/8, Damansara Perdana,

47820 Petaling Jaya,

Selangor.

 

Ticket Information:

Book them here.

RM68.00 (Normal)

RM58.00 (Dcard)

 

– Damansara Performing Arts Centre 

Malaysiaku: A celebration of Malaysia Day at Jalan Bangkung

Malaysiaku: A celebration of Malaysia Day at Jalan Bangkung

Sometimes, we just need a reason to go out and have some fun with our fellow Malaysians. The Malaysiaku Celebrations involve one big street carnival held in Bangsar, with an overwhelming array of food stalls, talks, poetry recitals, book signings, and lots of musical performances – basically, there is something for everyone.

The Malaysiaku Celebrations started in 2010, and it was also held in the years 2011, 2013 and 2015. The organiser for this community project is Edward Soo, a lawyer by profession who is part owner of the Bangkung Row Restaurants (Opus, Cava, Leonardo’s, Lucky Bo, Bobo).

Jalan Bangkung Street at Malaysiaku 2010.

In this year of 2018, Soo is bringing back the Malaysiaku Celebrations, in part to rejoice the arrival of Malaysia Baru after #GE14, but mostly to celebrate our rich and diverse Malaysian culture, and to promote the celebration of Malaysia Day on 16th September.

“We want to celebrate all that is good about Malaysia – our culture and food. And in that way, it will remind ourselves of why we are still here fighting for a better Malaysia,” he said.

Peter Yew and Edward Soo (right), organizers of the Lion Dance event at Malaysiaku 2013.

The reason Soo wants to celebrate Malaysia Day and not Merdeka Day is that Malaysia was formed in 1963, and Sabah and Sarawak have always been big contributors to Malaysia in terms of resources. Yet, those of us in West Malaysia do often neglect to think about our fellow countrymen in East Malaysia. Ed Soo said he would want them (Sabahans and Sarawakians) to feel a part of Malaysia.

Sabahan dancers at Malaysiaku 2013.

Kuda Kepang dance from Johor Malaysiaku 2013.

Soo also wants to build more community spirit through these celebrations.

“I hope this will catch on like a trend and spread all over. Everywhere, every community can have this celebration, whether it’s small or big. Get to know your community and your neighbours better,” he added.

The Bangsar community certainly knows how to have fun. And what better way to showcase the best of Malaysia than through our lip-smacking good food?  

Hence, you can look forward to a street carnival atmosphere filled with 70 food stalls along Jalan Bangkung offering a plethora of authentic food from all over Malaysia.  Sample local favourites such as Kelantan Nasi Kerabu, Sarawakian Laksa, Tuak, Indian Vaday, Penang Rojak, Satay, Nasi Lemak Bobo, Johor Laksa, Nyonya Kueh and many more delightful treats to satisfy your palate.

 For those with a sweet tooth, look out for the Depressed Cake Shop booth inside Lucky Boo. This global community initiative promotes awareness about mental health issues by baking cakes which are grey in colour. Funds raised from the sale of these cakes will be donated to Angsana Care.

Wayang Kulit performance at Malaysiaku 2010.

The food is not the sole highlight of the day, as there are also art and craft booths set up by various indigenous and NGO groups, talks/forums, a stand-up comedy act and book signings to be held indoors at Bobo Piano Lounge, Leonardo’s Dining Room and OPUS throughout the day.

The topics of the two talks scheduled at Bobo Piano Lounge are Key Economic and Political Reforms for Malaysia Baharu by Professor Dato’ Woo Wing Thye and Dr. Wong Chin Huat, and Malaysia 2.0: Pressing the reset button by Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan and YB Fahmi Fadzil.

The standup comedy act in Malay is called Malaysia Baharu Boboleh, featuring Hishamuddin Rais, Shashic, KC Nazari and Abe Latte, and hosted by Ayim Razak and Filzah Awok. This is the only event to have a RM30 cover charge at the door and it is open to those above 18 years old only.

Talk “Descendants of the Founding Fathers” organized by IDEAS Malaysiaku 2013.

Over at Leonardo’s Dining Room, there will be another talk presented by Five Arts Centre titled Dibuang (Dalam) Negeri: Who and What is Excluded from Malaysia Baharu? This talk has a unique format which requires audience participation, and it is curiously called the Fishbowl Conversation.

Poetry lovers should not miss Malaysian Poetry Recital: A Nation in Verse. It is presented by an eclectic lineup of home-grown Malaysian poets and storytellers, navigating through these puzzling times of our 55-year-old country using poetry.

At the same time, there will be book signings over at OPUS with local authors Lina Latif, Adilin Arifin, Saidah Rastam, Bernice Chauly, and Benz Ali. Fans of iconic political cartoonist Zunar can also look forward to his interview with Umapagan from BFM Radio.

Last but not least, there will be a huge stage set up in the car park for non-stop song and dance performances from 4 pm to 10 pm. Malaysian folk singer Azmyl Yunor and Ushera will both be performing, as will Saidah Rastam and friends.

We are Malaysia singers at Malaysiaku 2011.

Join in the fun singing patriotic songs to bring back those nostalgic feelings of yesteryears gone by, sway to the music of Nada Bayu, a Sabahan Band, and dance to the pulsating beats of Bhangra music to cap off the night. There will also be welcome speeches given by Ed Soo and YB Fahmi Fadzil, MP for Lembah Pantai, and a Malaysia Birthday Cake Cutting Ceremony at 6.30pm.

So, bring your dancing shoes and enjoy the Malaysiaku Celebrations at Jalan Bangkung with your family and friends this year if you have nothing else planned. You can use Grab to get to Bangsar and minimise the parking problem on the day due to the large crowds expected. 

Use Grab promo code: GRABSP18 which entitles you to RM5 off two rides (max 1,000 promo codes) to and from Jalan Bangkung on Malaysia Day 16th September 2018.

For those who prefer to drive, you can park at BSC or BV/Jolly Green Giant or better still, take the train to the Bangsar LRT station and take a Grab over to Jalan Bangkung.

 

For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/MalaysiakuCelebrations/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James, Blunt me!

James, Blunt me!

When someone mentions the James Blunt, one would harken back to the year 2005, where he slowly stripped his clothes in the pearly white snow, lip syncing “You’re Beautiful” in all his mopped hair glory, and proceeding to jump in the icy cold waters in Mallorca, Spain.

The song itself proved to be a huge hit, and almost everyone who had access to a radio heard of “You’re Beautiful” itself. Depicting a man who saw his ex girlfriend with another man in a train station, the lyrics were simple enough for a young teen to deduce, and an older adult to take a spanner and hit the radio as hard as he or she can. While the song would continue its run for the rest of 2005 and early 2006, the song proved to also be a bane to his career, for James Blunt was forever known as that ‘You’re Beautiful guy’.

If anything, Blunt’s endurance for criticisms has been nothing short of astonishing. A poll conducted in 2008 deemed him as the most hated man in Europe – only 3 years after bursting out of the seams, becoming the pop sensation of the mid 00’s. There were apparently more people hating him just because of “You’re Beautiful” playing in the airwaves than people hating the then-notorious Oasis, when the Gallagher brothers were on the verge of breaking up the band (which they eventually did). It was, and still is, hard being a James Blunt fan when the critics take up their tiki torches and ready to burn down Blunt’s career.

But how could we possibly hate Blunt? Handsome, a near to posh background, married to the granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington, living on one of the most beautiful island in the world (Ibiza) and having the voice of an angel. He is, in fact, the British Tom Cruise, but Tom Cruise never had four albums out and being Twitter’s reigning banter king.

Image by bekia.es

fester and exist in this Internet era, Blunt is constantly a part of the circle-jerking, sometimes being called a failure in music or even a hack, being in the music scene in the first place due to him having a relatively easy life, being in a military family. In an article in Spin off, he mentioned that “I think it’s always worth remembering that online is one thing and there’s a real world out there, and the real world is probably more important”. This motif has stayed by Blunt for half his career, allowing him to sift through the negativities and still placing him as relevant in this competitive music scene.

If anything, his patience has derived from serving the Army in 1996. His accolades surprised even me as I type this; being named a Captain, participating in the Kosovo War by volunteering in the Blues & Royals squadron, being posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London as the Queen’s Guard, and even standing guard during the Queen Mother’s funeral. His career choice from army to musician was a definite eye opener, but let’s face it; if he did not, there would be one less person to hate just because he has talent, no?

Image by bellybuzz

If anything, his patience has derived from serving the Army in 1996. His accolades surprised even me as I type this; being named a Captain, participating in the Kosovo War by volunteering in the Blues & Royals squadron, being posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London as the Queen’s Guard, and even standing guard during the Queen Mother’s funeral. His career choice from army to musician was a definite eye opener, but let’s face it; if he did not, there would be one less person to hate just because he has talent, no?

Besides having a decorated Army career and being the echelon of wit and sarcasm in Twitter, Blunt himself is also a philanthropist, being a hearty patron of Help for Heroes, a charity that rehabilitates wounded British soldiers. He is even an environmentally conscious person, screening the trailer for An Inconvenient Truth in concerts during the first years of his musical career, and performed in the Live Earth concert in 2007. How could you hate him now?

How?

Perhaps one may point to the ever expanding range of James Blunt’s music range. For the first four albums before his most recent one, The Afterlove, there were subtle changes to his musical touch, but not enough to garner any attention. However, in The Afterlove, his collaboration with Onerepublic frontman Ryan Tedder and best friend Ed Sheeran propelled him to create a synth-heavy, tropical beat based album that was unlike any of his previous albums. Singles such as Love Me Better or Bartender were so off the beaten track even by Blunt standards, even stalwart James Blunt fans would have to stop and take a listen to this album.

Image by popsugar

Critics call it ‘another inoffensive album’. Fans call it ‘different’.

I call it unique.

It has been a while since Blunt burst out in the pop music scene, filling our radios with his vibrato and well meaning songs. However, there has never been much progress in his musical path, especially with songs like Postcards or Bonfire Heart, both of them being songs in his fourth album, Moon Landing, did not land into the hearts of many outside of the UK. In The Afterlove, he decided to go for the electronic route, gagging himself with autotune and tropical grooves that can only be traced back to the Daft Punk Effect, where Random Access Memories lurks and still manages to influence the music industry and how their music sounds like, even after close to four years before The Afterlove was released.

We may have been wrong about Blunt before, but make no mistake about it; James Blunt is here to stay, and we will be so glad to have him for a long, long time.

Interested to meet James Blunt in Malaysia? Come join him in Dewan Wawasan, Menara PGRM, KL at 25th March! Get your tickets now!

Tickets are priced from RM122 (including RM4 handling fees)

and available online from
www.BuyTickets.com.my

or call 03-2280 0363
for phone booking.

Visit our Official Facebook Page
facebook.com/JamesBluntMalaysiaTour
for more exciting activities.

Are you too Blunt to know him?

Are you too Blunt to know him?

When James Blunt came into the spotlight fourteen years ago with nothing more than mopped hair and a guitar strapped across his waist, he was nothing more than another musician striving to make it big in the already competitive music scene in the mid 00’s. However, “You’re Beautiful”, his 3rd single off his debut album, Back to Bedlam, shot him up into the No. 1 spot in the Billboard charts, catapulting him into what seemed to be another soft rock sensation.

Fourteen years later, many Malaysians scratched their heads when he is mentioned.

Who is James Blunt?

James Hillier Blount, better known as James Blunt, was born in 22nd February 1974 in Hampshire, UK. Having graduated from the University of Bristol using a military bursary, he went on to serve for his country for 6 years, even participating in the Kosovo Wars and rising to the ranks of Captain.

After serving, he went on to sign with a recording company, and adopted Blunt as his stage name. After Back to Bedlam, he has released four more studio albums, including his latest album, The Afterlove, propelling himself into the mainstream pop music scene once more. Both his singles, Love Me Better and Bartender, echo his 2005 form with his melancholic singing and modern vibes, allowing him to stay relevant in this already competitive music scene.

You’re Beautiful?

When the song, “You’re Beautiful” was released as a single in May 2005, it was easily the most played and requested song of the year. The soulful tune, along with Blunt’s unique vibrato belting to a man’s lost love captured the hearts of everyone who had learned to appreciate his music.

However, “You’re Beautiful” was also deemed as one of the most irritating song ever recorded, with Spike writer D. Sussman calling it the “worst song of all time”. It was largely derived from the song constantly being played in the radio stations, and would continue to do so for the year.

Twitter-Fingers

One of the most intriguing aspects of James Blunt’s career was not his music, but his Twitter account, where he frequently answer insults or negative comments made by Twitter users with sarcasm and dry wit, which gave him the repertoire of being snarky.

Some may call him rude or ungrateful towards fans, but James Blunt had unwittingly injected non-verbal humor in this verbal-heavy Internet era, and has never taken himself (or his songs) too seriously. If anything, that generated even more hate for him, which he had since turn it into free publicity.

Photo by Gala

Someone loves him…No, really, someone loves James Blunt

Being dubbed a playboy in the mid ‘00s, Blunt attracted many attractive women by his side, often showing in events with different women. One would have to assume that his swooning voice had something to do with that.

His infamy for female flatulence finally ended in 2012 after he married to socialite Alexandrina “Sofia” Wellesley, daughter of Lord and Lady John Henry Wellesley, and also happens to be the granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington, Valerian Wellesley.

His music may be questioned by many, but his looks is not for many women out there!

The Carrie Fisher Factor

Many may not know this, but James Blunt’s fame was largely influenced, or indirectly so, by the late Carrie Fisher herself.

While having signed a record deal, James Blunt arrived in Los Angeles with nowhere to stay. Carrie Fisher offered him a place to stay, and they remained close friends ever since. One of his hit singles, “Goodbye My Lover”, was recorded in Fisher’s bathroom, and she named his debut album, “Back to Bedlam”, for him.

Their friendship never wavered even after his eventual success in the music charts, as Blunt continued to keep in touch with Fisher. A much more recent event before Fisher’s passing was at a Star Wars event, where Blunt was Fisher’s date of the day.

Interested to meet James Blunt in Malaysia? Come join him in Dewan Wawasan, Menara PGRM, KL at 25th March! Get your tickets now!
Tickets are priced from RM122 (including RM4 handling fees)

and available online from
www.BuyTickets.com.my

or call 03-2280 0363
for phone booking.

Visit our Official Facebook Page
facebook.com/JamesBluntMalaysiaTour
for more exciting activities.

James Blunt to perform for the very first time in Malaysia

James Blunt to perform for the very first time in Malaysia

James Blunt rose to fame with the release of his internationally acclaimed debut album ‘Back to Bedlam’, achieving worldwide fame with songs like, ‘You’re Beautiful’, ‘Goodbye My Lover’.

This album sold over 11 million copies worldwide, topping UK Album Chart and peaked #2 in the US and was one of the best-selling album in the UK in 2000.

This success also granted this singer-songwriter, numerous awards and recognitions such as like two British Awards, MTV Video Awards, Ivor Novello Awards, 5 Grammy Award nominations.

With the success of his debut album, he went on to release 3 multi- platinum selling albums; All The Lost Souls, Some Kind if Trouble and Moon Landing

James released his fifth studio album The Afterlove in March 2017. In this album, James worked with a wide range of talent including Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder from One Republic and Johnny McDaid from Snow Patrol

The first single ‘Love Me Better’ is a new light, thanks in part to Ryan Tedder’s fresh and modern pop production, and the lyrics combine a heartfelt poignancy along with touches of Blunt’s classic, self-deprecating humour.

James is currently on The Afterlove World Tour across Europe and Asia Pacific, after touring and opening for Ed Sheeran’s North America Tour.

James will be performing for the very first time in Malaysia, bringing his The Afterlove tour to his Malaysian fans

Date : Sunday, 25th March 2018
Venue : Dewan Wawasan PGRM, Cheras
Time : 8pm

Tickets are priced from RM122 (including RM4 handling fees) and available online from www.BuyTickets.com.my or call 03-2280 0363 for phone booking.

Visit our Official Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/JamesBluntMalaysiaTour for more exciting activities.