by Mark Bartlett
Just How Far Will You Go to Keep Your Job?
Coming off a well-received ‘Emerging Director Lab Showcase’ in Petaling Jaya, urban theatre collective Theatresauce continues to engage and exhilarate audiences with an edgy take on ‘Contractions’ at The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Contractions, written by Olivier-Award-winning Mike Bartlett (who also wrote ‘Cock’, presented at The Actors Studio in 2010) is the company’s first mainstage production as part of the 2017/18 season.
Contractions opens with Emma, an excellent performer at her new sales job. Darren, a colleague, then comes into the picture and a romantic relationship ensues. Her manager asks her to a meeting where she learns she is in serious breach of company contract. Times are hard – Emma needs to keep the job to put food on the table, but she also wants to keep Darren. As she tries to work her way around one ultimatum after another, she is told her sales figures are dwindling. To make matters worse for the company, Emma finds out a baby is on its way…
Set within a sleek capsule in a high-functioning workplace, Contractions is a dark and comedic exploration of challenging and breaking a dystopian system. Imagine George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four meeting The Devil Wears Prada in a mythical Silicon Valley. Will Emma, an earnest but naïve rebel-in-the-making, succeed? Or will cold and ruthless managerial orders swallow her whole?
Contractions was initially written for BBC’s Radio 4 and continued to evolve for the stage – it premiered in London’s Royal Court Theatre in 2008. Since then, the play has been presented across the UK, Europe and the United States. Playing professionally in Malaysia for the first time, Contractions features Sandee Chew as Emma and Five Arts Centre’s Anne James as The Manager. Theatresauce founder and Artistic Director Kelvin Wong directs and designs the production. He is assisted by Alex Chua, one of four directors -in-training from Theatresauce’s ‘Emerging Directors Lab’.
WEEK 1: August 24 (Thu) – 26 (Sat) @ 8.30pm, August 27 (Sun) @ 3.00pm
WEEK 2: August 30 (Wed) – September 2 (Sat) @ 8.30 pm, September 2 (Sat) + 3 (Sun) @ 3.00 pm
*Post-performance conversations to follow after Friday and Saturday evening performances
Indicine, 2nd Floor
The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre Jalan Strachan, Sentul
51100 Kuala Lumpur
RM45 (concession; students, the disabled, senior citizens and TAS card members)
Buy 5 free 1, buy 10 free 3 (through klpac only)
Purchase between 15 and 24 tickets at RM45 each and get an intimate career-oriented Q&A session with industry professionals OR
Purchase 25 or more tickets at RM35 each and get a free 75-minute physical workshop with the Artistic Director
+60 3 4047 9000 (klpac) +60 3 7880 7999 (ticketpro) ticketpro.com.my (online)
Doors open 10 minutes before every scheduled performance. Each performance runs for 70 minutes with no interval. Bright fluorescent lighting is used. PG-13.