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.
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.