Deborah Priya Henry, Miss Universe Malaysia 2011, with Somali refugee Ahmed, who will be part of the theatre production

 

October 12, 2011 – The aptly named production Life Sdn Bhd returns to The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 in its seventh iteration from 26th till 30th October.  Directed by Dato’ Faridah Merican, Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees invites the audience to experience the honest and compelling stories of refugees in Malaysia that often go unheard.

 

Produced by The Actors Studio in collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees Malaysia (UNHCR), Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees features seven courageous men and women from Myanmar, Somalia and Sri Lanka. Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees will showcase stories about the refugees’ lives here in Malaysia, the feeling of having to leave one’s home country and making a perilous journey to Malaysia, and how being here has changed their lives. The Malaysian story is about the strength of refugees who are far from helpless despite their circumstances.

 

Deborah Priya Henry, Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 and refugee rights advocate will be joining the ensemble to share her experiences in working with refugees. To add spice to this bite of life production, singer-songwriters Ian Chow and Ariff Akhir will perform original compositions commissioned especially for this production that capture the essence of the struggles of refugees from a musical perspective.

 

A brainchild of Dato’ Faridah Merican, the popular Life Sdn Bhd series has grown from strength to strength since its first staging in 2004. Once again, Dato’ Faridah brings to the centre of public discourse an issue which is often left in the peripheries of society. Dato’ Faridah Merican says, “The beauty of the series lies in its stripped down format where actors as well as non-actors share true stories on stage on issues that affect us living in Malaysia. Ranging from social, political, family, love and love lost.”

 

“The refugee community has long been invisible, it is time we hear what they have to say. Theirs is a heartwrenching story of detention, abuse, fear, neglect, and humiliation. But there are stories of resilience, courage, hope and love as well. They are after all normal human beings, of flesh and blood, hopes and dreams, like you and me,” she added.

 

Over 95,000 refugees and asylum-seekers are registered with UNHCR in Malaysia, yet their stories are often unheard by the public. “People often misunderstand who a refugee is, thinking that they are migrants looking for economic opportunities. The truth is that refugees have been forced to leave their countries because of persecution and armed conflict,” said Alan Vernon, UNHCR Representative. “Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees provides an opportunity for the public to understand better what refugees experience as they seek safety, and the challenges of their day to day survival.

 

“UNHCR is pleased to collaborate with The Actors Studio on this production which we hope will inspire the audience to think how they, in their own individual capacities, can help refugees as they seek to rebuild their lives in safety.”

 

Part of the proceeds from Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees will go towards the Refugee Welfare Fund that provides emergency medical and welfare assistance for refugees in Malaysia.

 

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A preview of Ian Chow's "Fear" during the press conference at KL Pac announcing the show.

 

Singer-songwriters Ariff Akhir and Ian Chow will be part of 'Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees", performing two original compositions especially commissioned for the production.

 

 Ian Chow, singer-songwriter and theatre manager for The Actors Studio, will perform "Fear", his original composition inspired by the lives of refugees, while Ariff Akhir, singer-songwriter and music producer, will perform his original composition "Squares and Circles".

 

Watch them at the upcoming Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees.

 

Ariff Akhir performing "Squares and Circles" during the press conference at KL Pac announcing the show.     

 

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What's it like to be a refugee? To witness your family torn apart by war and conflict? To lose everything you value - family, friends, your home - and be forced to flee in order to save your life?

 

This is a journey made by millions of refugees as they flee war, conflict, human rights abuses and persecution. Yet this journey, and how refugees live their lives in Malaysia, is hard for us to imagine.

 

Life Sdn Bhd 7: REFUGEES produced by The Actors Studio in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) features seven courageous men and women from Myanmar, Somalia and Sri Lanka. They will share, on stage, the honest and compelling stories of their lives as refugees in Malaysia. In the wake of having lost everything, these refugees, like tens of thousands of other refugees in Malaysia, have incredible courage and perseverance to remain steadfast and positive in their will to survive.

 

Brainchild of Dato’ Faridah Merican, the popular Life Sdn Bhd series has grown from strength to strength since its first staging in 2004. Once again, Dato’ Faridah brings to the centre of public discourse, an issue which is often left in the peripheries of society.

 

Deborah Henry, Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 and refugee rights advocate, together with Susheela Balasundaram of UNHCR, and singer-songwriters Ariff Akhir and Ian Chow will be joining the refugees on stage.

 

Life Sdn Bhd 7: REFUGEES puts a human face to the refugee issue, behind the numbers and statistics are real people with real stories and real dreams and desires for a life of safety.

 

Part of the proceeds from Life Sdn Bhd 7: REFUGEES will go towards the Refugee Welfare Fund that provides emergency medical and welfare assistance for refugees in Malaysia.

 

 

Show Details

 

Presenter: The Actors Studio & UNHCR Malaysia

 

Date & Time: 26th (preview night) - 29th October 2011 @ 8.30pm, 30th October@3pm

 

Venue: The Actors Studio @ Lot 10

 

Ticketing: RM33 (adults) / RM23 (students, disabled & TAS card holders), Promotion: RM23 flat for preview night

 

Box office: Call or walk-in | klpac @ Sentul Park (03 4047 9000).

The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 (03 2142 2009/2143 2009)

Walk-in | ILasso Tickets @ A606, Block A, Phileo Damansara II, Petaling  Jaya (+603-79576088 - enquiry line only)

 

Website:    www.theactorsstudio.com.my | www.unhcr.org.my

 

 

Life Sdn Bhd 7: REFUGEES Production Team

 

Executive Producer & Director:  Dato’ Faridah Merican

 

Artistic Director: Joe Hasham OAM

 

Original Music: Ariff Akhir & Ian Chow

 

Cast: Ahmed, Khampi, Ngun Siang, Raine, Sharifah, Theepika, Trasia (Refugees), Deborah Henry (Miss Universe Malaysia 2011 and refugee rights advocate), Susheela Balasundaram (UNHCR)

 

Photo: UNHCR/Ted Adnan

 

Just before performing a beautiful Burmese number, refugee cast member Khampi jokingly said "Who would have thought I would be playing music on a Malaysian stage?". Indeed, most of the refugee cast members of Life Sdn Bhd 7: Refugees would probably have not imagined their refugee journey would include being stars in a professional theatre production.

 

Yet, with admirable courage, they have taken to the stage night after night and delivered their monologues with honesty and raw emotion, and like true professionals, they delivered compelling performances to help the audience see the different dimensions of the refugee issue.

 

At the Opening Night last night, audiences were seen visibly affected by their honest stories.

 

"When I heard Theepika (a Sri Lankan refugee girl) speak about having to watch her parents pick garbage to survive, I could imagine that being me - and how I would feel having to watch my own parents do degrading work just to make ends meet," said an audience member after the show. "It really makes you think how it would feel if you were a refugee."

 

Only three nights left at The Actors Studio. Have you gotten your tickets yet?

 

Show Details

 

Presenter: The Actors Studio & UNHCR Malaysia

 

Date & Time: 26th (preview night) - 29th October 2011 @ 8.30pm, 30th October@3pm

 

Venue: The Actors Studio @ Lot 10

 

Ticketing: RM33 (adults) / RM23 (students, disabled & TAS card holders), Promotion: RM23 flat for preview night

 

Box office: Call or walk-in | klpac @ Sentul Park (03 4047 9000).

The Actors Studio @ Lot 10 (03 2142 2009/2143 2009)

Walk-in | ILasso Tickets @ A606, Block A, Phileo Damansara II, Petaling  Jaya (+603-79576088 - enquiry line only)

 

Website:    www.theactorsstudio.com.my | www.unhcr.org.my

 

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