The 1930s play “Lei Yu” or Thunderstorm is regarded as one of the most popular Chinese dramatic works of its time.

Written by China’s master dramatist, Tsao Yu, it has since gone on to be staged up until present day, spanning almost nine decades and translated into various languages including Malay, which was entitled “Ribut” and directed by the late Mustaffa Noor (famed as the best actor for his performance in Mawar Merah, a 1987 Malaysian film).

That was in 1985 and the title role of Fan Yi, a beautiful but venomous lady of the house, was played by none other than the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre’s (Klpac) Faridah Merican.

Thunderstorm is obviously close to Faridah’s heart, as she had in the past, played at least two other titles (Shih-Ping and Lu Ma) from the same play under Bob Hazli Hassan. image credit: Klpac

Now, Faridah is set to re-adapt the classic masterpiece into yet another Malaysian version, with the settings in Ipoh.

As an Ipoh resident, I am definitely intrigued and looking forward to see this adaptation, that seems almost aptly historical; given my hometown’s old world charm, which is not so secretly tied to oft-repeated scandalous stories, especially of the rich and famous tycoon families in Ipoh.

As it happens, Thunderstorm centers on the gossip worthy shenanigans of a wealthy family that prides itself behind a veneer of prestige and honour in society.

The play will be in English and starring renowned local personality, Patrick Teoh as the patriarch, Chou Pu-Yuan and model-actress Carmen Soo playing his wife Chou Fan-Yi.

Patrick Teoh and model-actress Carmen Soo are re-colaborating in Thunderstorm since their last stage appearance together in Wish I Was There. image credit: Klpac

Faridah is directing the play with Freddy Tan (who last directed the sold out Lo Mio & Chu Liet) based on a localised script by Mark Beau de Silva.

Mark is also acting as Lu Kuei in the play along with Ho Lee Ching (as Lu Ssu-Feng), Priscilla Wong (as Lu Shih-Ping / Lu Ma), Alvin Looi (as Lu Ta-Hai), Brian Chan (as Chou Ping) and Tan Li Yang (as Chou Chung).

Thunderstorm is obviously close to Faridah’s heart, as she had in the past, played at least two characters from the play (Shih-Ping/Lu Ma and Fan Yi), which was in the 1985 Ribut and another production under Bob Hazli Hassan.

Mark Beau de Silva (seated) is Lu Kuei together with Ho Lee Ching (right) as Lu Ssu Feng, Priscilla-Wong (left) as Lu Shih Ping/Lu Ma and Alvin Looi as Lu Ta Hai. image credit: Klpac

This production of Thunderstorm is being dedicated to the late Mustaffa Noor and the late Najib Nor, director and costume designer of the 1985, Ribut.

The presentation by The Actors Studio Seni Teater Rakyat is set to premiere on 20 until 23 April, 2017 at Pentas 1, klpac.

Get tickets by calling 03-4047 9000 (klpac) or 03 7880 7999 (Ticket Pro). You can also buy online via www.ticketpro.com.my or walk-in to klpac box office or any TicketPro outlets.

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