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Digest Rice! By Wayang Kitchen Is An Online Theatre Experience With An Optional Food Delivery Package

Rice! By Wayang Kitchen Is An Online Theatre Experience With An Optional Food Delivery Package

Rice! By Wayang Kitchen Is An Online Theatre Experience With An Optional Food Delivery Package
Rice! revolves around one woman's relationship with food and migration (Photo: Promotional poster for Rice! The Show)
By Samantha Lim
By Samantha Lim
February 17, 2021
Running for two weekends only (February 20-21 and 27-28), Rice! ropes in artists from London and Kuala Lumpur who will be performing live

A creative product of lockdown, Rice! The Show will unfold in two cities—Kuala Lumpur and London—and be performed live for two weekends only: February 20-21 and February 27-28, 2021. A melting pot of storytelling, food and song cooked up by Malaysia's own Wayang Kitchen and London's Omnibus Theatre, the piece was made possible by the British Council.

Some of you may remember Wayang Kitchen from our past review of the company's murder mystery dinner, but if this is your first time hearing of them, take our word for it that the company provides one-of-a-kind entertainment with a tasty edge. Read our interview with co-founder Razif Hashim:

Razif Hashim and Hester Welch co-founderd Wayang Kitchen and co-produced and directed Rice! together
Razif Hashim and Hester Welch co-founderd Wayang Kitchen and co-produced and directed Rice! together
 

Besides the obvious challenge of working from different time zones, what else did Wayang Kitchen and Omnibus Theatre have to surmount?

Razif Hashim, co-director and producer: The lockdown! It was extremely difficult to coordinate promo shoots, lock down venues, and carry out other crucial steps that come with putting together a production, especially when both countries are uncertain of what's happening in the other's landscape. It’s not been a walk in the park under these conditions.

Nevertheless, a show has materialised. What have you learned about taking theatre from the stage to the screen?

RH: We have learned many tricks and experienced many aha! moments over the past year, but the one thing that I am certain of is that live interaction always trumps recorded content.

ICYMI: Theatre Performers Across SEA Sing 'Seasons Of Love' From The Musical 'Rent'

Amanda Ang was nominated for Best Actor in A Leading Role at the 16th Boh Cameronian Arts Awards for her performance in The Optic Trilogy
Michelle Wen Lee has starred in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason among other feature films
Vera Chok penned Yellow in The Good Immigrant, which won the UK Book of the Year and topped Guardian and Amazon bestsellers lists
 

It's a good thing that Rice! is live streamed then. Tell us more about Rice!’s protagonist.

RH: Connie Cheng is played by Amanda Ang and Michelle Wen Lee in different stages and periods of her life. She is a first generation Malaysian who moves to the UK to become a British citizen. Prior to leaving Malaysia, she moonlighted as a lounge singer and has always been attracted to the glitz and glamour of showbiz.

Jumping through the timeline back and forth, we find that she is reliving past memories related to food. As the show is a reflection of the present day going all the way back to the '90s, audiences will experience different styles of speech and cultural references that shaped third culture kids. One could say that Connie is the poster girl for Malaysia’s brain drain. What pushes you or pulls you away from home?

Is Connie Cheng’s character inspired by someone in real life?

RH: We joke that Rice! is an autobiography of our writer Vera Chok, who inspired Connie's thought processes, quirks and migration circumstances. However, as this show was devised with two actors who both play Connie, a lot of inspiration was also drawn from their lives. It's funny because the directors started with an idea of Connie and the artists we brought on board just so happened to fit. I guess you could say that life reflects art and art reflects the artist.

See also: Watch Mark O'Dea & Friends Perform A Musical Parody To Lift Our Spirits During MCO 2.0

What dishes and drinks can audiences expect from your food partner Concubine, who won the Adaptability Award at the recent Tatler Dining Awards, by the way?

RH: 'The Concubine Experience' includes ingredients to make your own Chinese tea eggs, congee and peanut cookies. It will also accompanied by a Cheesecake Peanut Cookie Crumble to complete your meal. Not forgetting the viewer's choice of cocktail: the Mandarin Highbull, Pineapple or Harvard Ginseng.

The menu is very humble in keeping with the nature of the story. The dishes were designed with scentography in mind and to elevate the emotional experience of Connie's journey.

Who will be leading the virtual cooking class?

RH: Our food demo will be led by Theri Burhan from Set The Tables.

Are there any saucy bits or steamy language that may make the show unsuitable for minors?

RH: Rice! does in fact have a bit more than steamy language. While it’s not terribly offensive or vulgar in my opinion, you might want to make sure that only the 18 year olds at home are allowed to sit in. Or 16, depending on how things are done in your household.

DATES & TIMES

February 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2021
Malaysia: 8.30 - 9.30pm GMT + 8 (virtual cooking demo begins at 7.30pm sharp)
United Kingdom: 12.30 - 1.30pm GMT

TICKETS & PRICES

Purchase here
Show only: RM28
*Show plus a food kit and a virtual cooking demo: RM88 (pick up) or RM99 (delivery)
*Only available to residents of the Klang Valley

Tags

Digest Arts Wayang Kitchen Omnibus Theatre British Council theatre concubine

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