All images credit RaffleThazzle Photography
What do you get if you combine a zombie flick with a musical piece?
You’ll get ‘The Working Dead”, an original Malaysian musical piece about, well, people who work like zombies. In an office. From 9am to 6pm and take the train home and then.. *sigh* ..repeat.
Unlike ‘The Walking Dead’, which the title of this production parodies, this musical explores various themes of a Malaysian contemporary life.
Journalist Terence Toh who dabbles in script writing in his free time is one of the brainchild for this production and he gives me a cautionary warning; There are zombies involved, but it is not a horror musical.
“Viewers are more likely to die of laughter than a zombie bite!” Terence quips.
At the surface the musical appears as an entertaining comedic show, but there is more to it as the piece explores a deeper aspect of human life.
“‘The Working Dead’ is a comedic drama about Edwin, a dedicated salaryman (played by Iz Sulaini) who wants nothing more than to give his wife, Sarah, a happy life. As a result, he works long hours at his office to provide for her,” Terence explains.
The kicker here is, Edwin suddenly dies and his demanding boss Chan (played by Lenny Wan) hires a — wait for it — bomoh to revive him back to life!
Yikes! The things evil bosses do to ensure high productivity rate!
Playing the role of the bomoh is Tina Isaacs, a relatively new face in the performing arts scene though you might have read her fictional works.
Unlike typical zombie flicks where majority of the heroes are boring white male, this time around, it is up to Kirthana Kuhendran’s character, Sarah, to save the day.
Backed by a four-piece band to bring you toe-tapping music, the production of ‘The Working Dead’ is however still very much in its late development phase.
Work for this musical piece had been underway for a year where the team had been creating the script and music from scratch. It is as original as it gets.
“It (the musical) hopes to inspire audiences to contemplate the roles of work and family in their lives, and ask
questions: is it truly worth it, for example, to sacrifice one aspect of life over the other? Is it possible to achieve work-life balance in these hectic times? And are they spending time on the things that truly matter?” Terence explains.
There is good news for those who’re itching to have a taste of the show!
A workshop production – basically a small scale version of major scenes from the show – will be held at Twenty20Two Studios (located at Petaling Jaya) from April 27 – 29.
Terence explains that feedback from audience via this workshop will be used to shape a larger-scale production of the piece in the future.
“It’s a chance to see an earlier version of a musical at a much, much cheaper price!” He adds.
Featuring lyrics from Terence Toh and music by Lydia Tong and Kelvin Loh, the workshop production will be directed by Nicole-Ann Thomas. The play will also feature Angeline Neoh and Brian Cheong.
If you identify yourself as a work zombie or knows someone who is one, the workshop production presented by AllNighter Productions would be an ideal outing to catch. Tickets are being sold at RM25, RM 25 and RM 15 (for students). They can be purchased here!