The Power of Drama in Penang

What makes a performance real?

I had the privilege of pondering that question a lot last evening as I took in a performance of Frank McGuinnes’ Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at the Penang Performing Arts Centre.

The intimate theater setting had me sitting literally four feet from the three talented performers who were chained to the floor held captive in a Lebanese jail cell.

It made no difference that there were no walls.  The actors created the walls – impregnable walls that held the actors inside – yet invisible walls which enabled the audience to see the sweat dripping from their face, see their hands shaking in fear, see their brows curl up in anguish, see the spit flying from their mouth as they yelled at each other defending their soul against the taunts of their cell mates who tried to lay bare the last human emotions pent up inside.  The actors spent every last ounce of their being defending their honor, trying to make sense of the senseless, and just passing the time with vapid memories which ended up serving as painful reminders of the captivity.

It was a powerful, moving night of drama.

While this show ended its run today, the three talented actors will be back next month for the comedy The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspeare (Abridged).

Anyone who can appreciate the art and dedication it takes for an actor to be real on the stage, owes it to yourself to see this upcoming show.

If the intensity is anything like last night, it will move you.

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