Religion, love and society: Award-winning play ‘Nadirah’ starring Sharifah Amani, Patrick Teoh back by popular demand

The play by Singaporean playwright Alfian Sa’at will resonate with Malaysian audiences. — Picture courtesy of Instant Café Theatre

PETALING JAYA, Nov 3 — It is a play that captures the complex nature of religion and love in a multicultural family.

More than a decade since its debut, Nadirah remains just as relevant today, if not more.

Written by Singaporean playwright Alfian Sa’at and set in the Lion City, the award-winning play will be screened virtually to audiences around the globe this month, brought to you by Malaysia’s Instant Café Theatre

The plot follows Nadirah, the popular vice-president of her university’s Muslim Society, played by Sharifah Amani.

She convenes interfaith meetings where she wants to encourage students to talk openly about their faith and to respect one another’s spaces.

Nadirah is the product of an ethnically mixed marriage — her father is Malaysian Malay while her mother is a Singaporean Chinese who converted to Islam.

One day, Nadirah’s mother tells her she’s going to remarry and the man she loves is Robert, a Christian, leaving Nadirah devastated.

How does Nadirah make peace between various religions in school when she’s having the same problems at home?

Can mother and daughter worship different gods?

Although the story is set in Singapore, Malaysians audiences and viewers across the world will resonate with the story as religion increasingly becomes a matter of public contestation, producers of the play said in a press release

Just like many theatre companies around the world, Instant Café has taken their beloved performances to the digital platform to keep the arts alive.

Sharifah Amani and Singaporean actress Neo Swee Lin in a scene from ‘Nadirah’ which will be screened globally this month. — Picture courtesy of Instant Café Theatre

Following last month’s successful one-day screening which sold 749 tickets from 14 countries, requests have been pouring in to rescreen Nadirah.

The production audiences will be watching was performed at the Festival Tokyo in 2016 and stars Malaysian talents Iedil Dzuhrie Alaudin, Farah Rani and Patrick Teoh while Singaporean actress Neo Swee Lin takes on the role of Nadirah’s mother.

Nadirah is presented in English and Malay with English, Malay and Japanese subtitles, directed by Jo Kukathas.

Five per cent of Nadirah’s proceeds will be donated to assist Covid-19 efforts in Sabah where the pandemic has hit poverty-stricken communities.

The rest of the ticket sales will go towards Instant Café’s next project And Then Came Spring with Malaysian-based Afghan refugee company Parastoo.

Instant Café Theatre will be having seven screenings at different times to suit most major time zones around the world.

Tickets are priced at RM13, RM23, RM33, RM55 and RM100 to allow audiences to pay what they can in these difficult times whist helping to rebuild the theatre company.

There are also RM8 community tickets available for those who aren’t able to afford the ticket prices, applicable to those residing in Malaysia.

Nadirah will be screened online from November 19 to 22, visit here for tickets.

For community tickets, email [email protected].


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