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Parallel Universes in Wayang Peranakan

Adapting, updating and renovating Mari Kita Main Wayang


Published: 16 Nov 2023

Time taken : >15mins

In this podcast, host Charlene Rajendran talks to director Alvin Tan and playwright Zulfadli Rashid about the process of adapting the late Felix Chia’s Mari Kita Main Wayang, finding a balance between paying respect to the original work and contemporising the text for a modern audience, as well as delving into the intricacies and complexities of the Peranakan patois spoken by the characters in the play. 

Mari Kita Main Wayang was first staged in 1994, co-presented by The Necessary Stage and Jubilee Hall. This modern adaptation follows a group of Peranakans who come together to stage Empat Bini, an ambitious script that is set within the illustrious walls of a royal court. However, all is not as it seemsas the play unfolds, a gripping narrative of power gone awry among the players comes to light.

This podcast by Centre 42 is part of a series of documentation efforts in support of the production of Mari Kita Main Wayang, which runs from 17 – 19 November at the Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade. Centre 42’s documentation partnership with Esplanade aims to delve into the process of creating and adapting the work, and put a spotlight on its rich representations of Peranakan culture and history, especially through the language of the play.

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