Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Arts in a Park

Yeahlah. Months after everyone else, I finally get around to discovering the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre or KLPac. (I think it sounds like a company that manufactures cardboard boxes, don't you?)

I went to a reception tonight for the cast and crew of Macbeth. I'd decided to get there before the traffic jams, which meant a couple of hours early, and took a taxi because I'd never been there before and friends had warned me that it's quite a way off Jalan Ipoh, out in the boondocks. The only time I've ever been to Sentul was when I supervised teaching practice at Methodist Boys' school there. My taxi driver was a really nice old guy, originally from Sumatra, so had a Malay conversation lesson for the price of a taxi fare too.

My goodness, the place is beau-ti-ful. You leave the city behind and enter a vast parkland on land which originally belonged to the railways. The Arts Centre, set amidst acres of greenery is a stunning construction of glass and metal built using the sinews of an old railway building. It houses a main theatre, an experimental theatre of amazingly flexible design, rehersal studios, offices, a bar and cafe, and much else besides. The landscape features are unmistakably the work of Seksen!

Since I was so early I went round for a tour of the building with the cast and crew of Theatre Babel, poking our noses in to all the public and secret spaces.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

The full story of how the theatre came into being is told in this article on the Kakiseni website.

It was a pleasant evening. Give me a glass of good wine, an endless flow of food and conversation and I don't think I could be much happier.

I'll be back to KLPac (must get used to saying it and put the cardboard box image out of my head) on Saturday for the Scottish play. Cannot say the name for fear of bad luck.


Lydia Teh said...


Saw the pix in the papers sometime ago. Looks very impressive. You're right about the name : KLPac has a hint of a packer's name. For me, it reminds me of Pacific like Pan Pac Hotel.

You want meme, you've been memed.

Kak Teh said...

sharon, whenever i go back to KL, i always make plans to go to one of these perfomances and taste the local flavour but never had time. and this november trip is going to be another rush one altho i'd really like to meet up with you for a crash course - over tea and i pay. will drag lydia along. or pls invite me to one of your readings.
i didnt meme you because you were memed by Ms D last week. So, come lah, play play.

Anonymous said...

KLPac is really beautiful indeed. The place reminds of my university campus in the States. There should be more places like this in KL.

bibliobibuli said...

Lydia - now you have to make the journey!

Kak Teh - Yes, can't wait to meet up with you whether there or here. I hope I will be back in britian before the end of the year.

Nizam - I hope there will be more places like this - the space is inspiring!

minamona - I will watch out for the t-shirts ... Hope you're going to make it for Macbeth!