KAJANG, APRIL 4TH 2018 – The UNITEN Library auditorium was roaring with applause last Tuesday (27th of March) as the story of Ptuih, Helium and Maseh Dara came to a satisfying conclusion. The characters, which were played by Ammar Dzulkifli, Jaie Azlan and Ally Hazrin respectively, stole the audiences’ hearts despite their questionable morals and their mental issues thanks to brilliant and hard, raw acting. The play, entitled ‘SUPERPTUIH! Dan transit kaler magenta’, was received overwhelmingly well by audiences. The play focuses on the relationship of three siblings, and how they deal with their corrupt father while touching on the crumbling integrity of the society around them. Most of the play is set at a fictional KTM station, where the complex, yet loving relationship between the three siblings is deconstructed for the audience to observe.
The title character, Ptuih (the sound made through the action of spitting), is the rebellious son of a aristocratic family. Discontent and disgusted with his father’s behavior, he decides that it’s finally time to move out of his ‘wretched’ household. This also marks the title character’s chronological debut, where he is seen waiting at the KTM station, eagerly awaiting the earliest train to an unknown destination.
Helium is the eldest among the siblings, and is the golden child of the family. It becomes apparent that he is mentally unstable through his quirky character and doll, which he carries around with him throughout most of the play. Despite so, he is considered a genius thus earning the favor and ‘love’ of his father. He regards Ptuih as his best friend and hero (hence, Superptuih) despite frequently talking to his doll to complain about Ptuih’s dismissal of him. Throughout the play, he tries to talk Ptuih out of running away, however his father’s ‘affection’ of Helium clouds Ptuih’s judgment.
Maseh Dara (Malay for ‘Virgin’), is the only daughter of the family. Ironically, she has a very lustful personality, and isn’t ashamed to admit that she enjoys sexual pleasure from almost anyone. She is also favored and ‘loved’ by the father and is sent to the station to retrieve Helium. The conflict between the three provides backstory of the ill family and characters to the audience, mostly through Dara’s and Ptuih’s back-and-forth slanders and jabs.
Pak Guard is a prominent supporting character in the piece. He is stationed to guard the KTM’s morning shift and frequently interrupts the siblings’ conversations, often resulting in tension-breaking comedy and shedding a faint but warm light on the murky dark atmosphere. Aside from a comedic relief, he also provides a character that audiences can relate with, as how the three main characters are the bombastic characterizations of suppressed emotion and critical thinking, he is somewhat representative of real, modern society.
Muhammad Danial bin Muhammad Zaki directed the piece, which serves as an adaptation of a script by Mr. Wan Azli Wan Jusoh. The play itself serves as a medium to, per Director’s words, ‘shed light on the topics we experience in our daily lives but rarely acknowledge’ while being the best theatre experience for audiences. The play focuses on the importance of family as well as the importance of a leader in a structure. It also touches lightly on politics, sex, and the cruel, unjust standards of society.
Mr. Danial would like to thank his dedicated team and the audiences for coming to support the play. He and the team also expressed their gratitude to the advising lecturer, Mr. Safwan who has been giving continuous support from day one. He hopes that through this play audiences will develop a love for theatre art and continue to support the theatre scene. Most importantly, he hopes the audience goes home enlightened with the moral values conveyed by the story, and that audiences take note and avoid the negative effects of poor behavior shown by the antagonists and anti-heroes. Nur Aqilah bt Rashidi, the Assistant Director of the play, hopes that more people will be interested in joining theatre as it is a great platform to improve one’s communication skills, teamwork and other necessary soft skills. The play was a success, hosting a 261-member audience. With this, ASTENA looks forward to continue providing great performances.