Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Curse: A sterling performance!

Date: 23 July 2011
Venue: SJKC Chong Hwa 2, Kluang

SMK Permas Jaya 3, Pasir Gudang came to town in style to perform The Curse in front of the 800-strong students and teachers from Kluang, Batu Pahat and Pontian today. I was pleased to be a part of the audience. I brought along thirty students from 5S2.

As one of the novels studied in Form 5, The Curse is part of the literature component in the English Language syllabus in Form 5. Since it's a new novel, the appearance of the play is timely for students and teachers alike. Let's face it, we are all still grappling with this new novel because we taught The Pearl for ten years! Too long a time for one literary piece you'll agree. The arrival of the new novel then is a breath of fresh air. And to have a play to watch based on the novel is an opportunity not to be missed.

the director and I...
Directed by Miss Hafeezah Sulong, an English teacher from SMK Permas Jaya, Pasir Gudang, Johor Bharu and her talented production team, the musical theatre tells the story of Azreen, a student who returns from her studies in England after the mysterious death of her sister, Madhuri. Rumours abound that Madhuri was murdered but it took a while before everything unfolded and fell into place. Ahsraf refuses to reveal what he knows and a strange figure keeps an eye on Azreen. The old lady is killed in a fire set by Ashraf and the truth unveils itself in steps.

The two-hour play was entertaining and professionally performed by a multi-talented cast. Hafeezah played a dual role: as the director and the character Pn Normala, the village gossip. As Pn Normala, she was unmistakably brilliant! There were many strengths in the musical theatre.

For one, there was the excellent prop- trees, attap kampung houses, draped curtains that functioned as entry and exit points for characters gave the setting its sense of reality.

Next, it was a well-balanced musical theatre that had all the necessary ingredients that befit a musical theatre: dance, music, songs and spoken dialogue. The emotional content was well-treated with elements of humour, phatos, love and anger. Equal emphasis was given to music as compared to dialogue. Hafeezah had carefully selected the significant parts of the novel to highlight in her play and anyone who had not read the novel would be able to comprehend the story because of this.

The main character who acted as Azreen was superb. She not only remembered her lines but she expressed her emotions so effectively and was definitely in her element, making her the right choice for the role. How Hafeezah found this gem is a wonder indeed! The other character is Ashraf,  also acted wonderfully except for the problems with the mike in some parts. The only weakness was he sometimes muffled his words with the longer dialogues.

Credit should also be given to Awang, Mahdhuri, the old lady and the dancers. I particularly like the 'Umbrella' song and dance part- I thought the singer and the dancing were brilliant! The design for the set was realistic and projected the right mood for the entire two hours. The lighting was dramatic and purposeful. However, the spotlight was sometimes a little slow. The choice of costumes was excellent and helped the audience visualise the story as written by Lee Su Ann.

Overall, Hafeezah and her production team were exceptional and her school must be really proud of her. This is definitely another milestone in her career. Kudos to her team as no production of this size and quality would be successful without solid teamwork. I had the chance to meet her principal and congratulated her for the mesmerising performance. My students had only positive things to say about the play.
Congratulations to Hafeezah and SMK Permas Jaya 3!

p.s thanks for allowing me to use some of your photos hafeezah


  1. not smk pj...
    but smk pj3....

  2. dear anonymous,
    my apologies. i thought there were only 2 smk pj in pasir gudang? i've corrected the post. thanks :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. ur welcome madhuri. drama queen indeed :)

  5. Salam Puan Rahmah, Nuha here. It's very exciting to read about other teacher's success in delivering a theatre performance. Not only that, Ms Hafeezah and her crew's accomplishments have triggered my interest in producing drama in the future with my talented students which I've yet to discover. I've never been involved in drama before & I've no clue about directing, writing script, etc. Are there books which I could refer to or any special course which I could attend to develop the drama skills? Thanks

  6. wassallam nuha,
    i'm glad you were inspired by hafeeza's theatre. we are in the same boat when it comes to drama so it's like the blind leading the blind!! that much i can say nuha :) sorry

  7. It's ok Puan. I think the ministry should conduct a special course for teaching drama as we'll b having drama competition every year. Anyway thanks.

  8. Hello Teacher Nuha, can I have the script for the drama? this will very helpful to my study on this drama, thank you :)

  9. dear anonymous, am not teacher nuha :) if u meant the curse, well i didn't produce the drama but another teacher did. read the post carefully. best!


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