It was on the moon that three young girls from Kampong Tanjung found themselves on at the end of an eventful fasting month of Ramadan. That Ramadan was one audiences are taken on an adventure through, as three best friends, reunite on the eve of Aidilfitri, in the improbable setting of a hospital room, look back at their friendship and reminisce about that Ramadan 30 years before.
The friends are Chot who is in a coma, Pungut who is the victim of an plane crash and Salmiah who is in a broken marriage who feature in a return of a play in Malay which received much acclaim during its debut run by Teater Kami in 1995. The play in taking audiences back to the childhood of the three friends also revisits the memories that the playwright and director, Aidli ‘Alin’ Mosbit, has of growing up in the long lost coastal village of Kampong Tanjong Irau in the Sembawang area of Singapore.
The journey the friends take through that fateful Ramadan, is one which also looks at the innocence and carefree days of childhood – in a rather amusing way, and one which is guaranteed to have the audience in stitches through the antics of the three as they relive their many moments of childhood mischief through that Ramadan at the end of which they embark on their flight to the moon on the back of a “rocket” – the rakit (Malay for “raft”) on which the three often find themselves on.
The play does also examine life’s realities with a tinge of sadness. The three lose touch as they continue journey into adulthood and are never able to find the opportunity to celebrate Hari Raya together, meeting in the hospital room where Chot lies in a coma.
Fun, amusing, and light-hearted, the play which does have English surtitles, is certainly one and a half hours well spent. It is one which I thoroughly enjoyed – not just for the laughs but for the opportunity to be taken back to a way of life which doesn’t exist anymore.
…dan tiga dara terbang ke bulan is presented by Panggung Arts in collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay as part of The Studios. Two more performances of it will be held today at 3 pm and 8 pm at the Esplanade Theatre Studio. Tickets are priced at S$25.
About …dan tiga dara terbang ke bulan
…dan tiga dara terbang ke bulan (… and three virgins fly to the moon) is an acclaimed play returning to the Singapore stage after 18 years since it was first put up by Teater Kami in 1995. This new rendition will be helmed once again by director and playwright Aidli Mosbit, who was one of the artists who devised the original production, and will mark her return to directing. The story involves three women – one in a coma, another troubled by a broken marriage and a third who died in a plane crash – who are best friends and got together one night, by chance, to reminisce and celebrate 30 years of friendship. It will also feature a brand new cast consisting of Siti Khalijah Zainal, Shida Mahadi and Nur Khairiyah Ramli.
Images used in this post courtesy of Mr Delvin Lee of Esplanade.