Just went for Young Choral Academy’s Buatan Malaysia, which was pretty enjoyable. I admire the effort put in by the choir, especially for the arrangements, which were all done (I think) in-house.
The YCA is just one example of a growing performing arts industry here over the last decade or so. From simple, enjoyable prop-less plays all the way to world-class musicals (very very few) at our theatres, the future seems bright for our local scene.
However, IMHO, one thing that will always hinder Malaysia from being renowned as a cultural-hub in the Asian region has got to be the audience. The audience? Yes! The audience!
I may not be a professional researcher, but I can tell you this. Malaysians have no manners when it comes to watching a play!
I am willing to bet that every single House Rule that day was broken (except for the presence of the paid photographer and videographer of course).
Firstly, the latecomers. Yea, okay, understood that people come late. But the rule is that you wait at the corner until after piece is finished. But no! They walk in during the piece. Alright, so you half 75% commonsense. The least one could do is walk along the side-aisles. No! They walk across the stage, up the centre-aisle. OK. 50% commonsense.
But wait, there’s more! They walk through the spotlight! 25%. Wait, it gets worse. During one piece, they latecomers caused so much ruckus looking around (one even turned on the phone flashlight!) that the choir actually waited till they were seated. OK, I’m running out of numbers. 10%. Then, the handphone rings, kids start talking and a couple even walk out during a piece.
0% commonsense, people! That’s how we rate in terms of being a decent audience. I am even willing to forego the crowd cheering in the middle of a piece because this one was supposed to be a little more laid-back.
We suck. Big time.