We landed up at the venue on a rainy afternoon to watch MUD theatre at Kuala Lumpur located in the heart of the city, Panggung Bandaraya and what a surprise it turned out to be! Theatre lover that I am, and have watched theatre extensively, I must admit that I had never experienced anything close to MUD ever before.
The raw appeal of setting, the backdrop, real actors, simple costumes, basic props – to me it looked it like that I had come to watch a school play. So child like excitement was there. Incidentally I had done no research on this visit, out of sheer laziness but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was bowled over by Victorian Settings, lighting, sound system, actors drawn from different nationalities…to put up a brilliant act which left audience spell bound.
The story revolved around how Kuala Lumpur rose from the ashes…read MUD owing to its native’s sheer perseverance, hard-work and strong will to make it.
Performers won our hearts with their simple song and dance act, emotional dialogues and I specially loved the “Thali” dance by actors. I must say it was very well choreographed. The dancer in me rejoiced with the dance…Yeh dil maange more! Reading the minds of audience like us, actors invited the audience to dance with them on the stage, and believe me audience happily obliged.
If you are visiting Kuala Lumpur, you must include this in your program but for this you should be theatre lover at heart.
You can get entire information about the venue, tickets, location etc. here at MUD, KL.
My story wouldn’t be complete without writing about the theatre which was designed by A.B. Hubback in 1901. This Mughal-inspired complex features a unique curved façade and a copper dome above the main porch. This was the first official administration office for the Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board and witnessed important meetings that shaped Kuala Lumpur’s early town planning. It was declared open by Sir William Treacher in 1904 at a grand farewell ball in his honour.
Later, Panggung Bandaraya was central in the early development of the performing arts in Kuala Lumpur. Though there is little documentation on the performance history at this venue. Not forgetting the many performing arts practitioners who generously shared memories of their time in Panggung Bandaraya. There have been many changes in the landscape around Panggung Bandaraya yet this heritage building has proudly stood tall through the years. Here I felt I was at Horniman Circle back home, Mumbai.
Last but not the least, MUD was courtesy, Enfiniti Vision Media (formerly Enfiniti Productions Sdn Bhd) is the company responsible for bringing one of Malaysia’s most beloved tales to the theater stage. The hardworking cast and crew including Tiara Jacquelina, M. Nasir, Christine Hakim, Alex Komang, Adlin Aman Ramlie, Dato’ Rahim Razali, Sofia Jane and a stellar cast of regional stars are really making the city proud.
My trip to MUD may be attributed to special efforts of Malaysia Tourism.