baca skrip: #IkanCantik

About baca skrip: #_____
baca skrip: #_____ is a monthly series of online Malay play readings happening from May to August 2020. Putting the spotlight on the written text, the platform revisits seminal works by Singapore Malay playwrights. This series hopes to create the space to consider the resonance of the text today, appreciating the textures in the use of the Malay language while peeping into the history of contemporary Malay playwriting.

From re-discovering the familiar and being surprised by the new, we invite you to re-acquaint yourselves with the characters’ confrontations with reality -- which is, in more than one way, our own.

Co-produced by Fezhah Maznan and Teater Ekamatra.

Read in Malay with accompanying Malay text and English sur-titles.

Due to limitations of the digital platform, the session is to be viewed on laptop/desktop only.


The third edition of baca skrip: #__ features Aidli Mosbit with Ikan Cantik.

Aidli Mosbit’s impact on contemporary Malay theatre is unquestionable. Known to many as 'Kak Alin', she has been a pivotal mentor for key figures in the industry for at least two generations. A playwright and a director, her works are bodacious, loud, and with a unique taste of songs and music. In the last twenty years, she has become a forced reference when speaking of female voices and representation in theatre, due both to her unique charisma as a leader and educator, but also as a craftswoman of powerful characters on the stage.

The creation process for this iteration of Ikan Cantik was accompanied by a recollection of its original staging in 1998. As part of the production, Alin asked six young female actors to shave their head but this was severely condemned by the Islamic community. The memory of that experience remains painfully present in the actors’ memories, as some of them recollect how the situation affected them personally. The play has never been re-staged.

How do we read these characters now, twenty-two years on? Has the Malay woman been empowered enough? Has she regained control over her body? Join us in this wonderful read, which promises to be both a walk down the memory line and a reality-check as we face the future.

The play will be read by Elnie S. Mashari, Emanorwatty Saleh, Esther Yap, Farah Ong, and Rafeyah Abdul Rahman (Yaya), who were all part of the original ensemble. They are joined by a key representative of the new generation, Suhaili Safari.

Ikan Cantik

Ikan Cantik is a tapestry of 6 episodic playlets performed by 6 actresses examining the age-old idea of beauty. Combining poor theatre, Brechtian techniques, Sandiwara Radio, puppetry, physical theatre and many more, the play meditates on the issues such as the historical (mis)representation of women, gender roles and sexuality, women in popular culture and the biases, privileges of female power dynamics. Fun, bawdy, emotive and sometimes intense, Ikan Cantik is an attempt to open the clasps of the baggages that women carry with them and briefly allow us to look inside.

Content Warning: Description of sexual assault and suicide.



Aidli Mosbit

AIDLI MOSBIT graduated from Queensland University of Technology and has worked extensively with local companies like The Necessary Stage, Teater Kami, Wild Rice, Cake Theatre, Toy Factory, The Theatre Practice, Teater Ekamatra and Drama Box. With Noor Effendy Ibrahim and Alfian Sa’at, Aidli published an anthology of Malay plays in the book, BISIK. She toured to Scotland, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Romania, Hong Kong and Hungary, performing Singapore-brand theatre. Recipient of the Young Artist Award for Theatre in 2008, she played the leading role of Murni alongside Malaysia’s legendary actor, Datuk Haji Rahim Razali, in the film Sayang Disayang (2013) by Sanif Olek which was Singapore’s Official 2015 Oscar® Entry for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2016, she published her collection of Malay plays entitled CHANTEK. CHANTEK was awarded the Hadiah Persuratan (Literary Award) 2017 by the Malay Language Council, Singapore. Aidli is currently working in Temasek Polytechnic as the Senior Manager of the Arts Division, in the Student Development & Alumni Affairs department and has a Master of Education from the University of Adelaide.

Elnie S. Mashari

When Ikan Cantik was first performed in 1998, Elnie was in her 2nd year BA in Theatre Studies. Since then she has been a prolific theatre practitioner; starting from a stage crew to a Producer, drama trainer to a Section Head of ITE HNitec Performance Production. She continues to dabble between Performing and Production Management so as to keep herself up to date to the ever-changing technology in the Arts and issues faced in the industry. 22 years have passed since Ikan Cantik was staged, and it seems she’s not retiring anytime soon.

Emanorwatty Salleh

Ema has her heart set in theatre acting since the early 90s. Her first show was Kosovo in 1993, directed by Aidli Alin Mosbit, staged at the old Drama Centre. Since then, she has worked with several renowned companies in Singapore such as Teater Kami, Teater Ekamatra, The Theatre Practice and The Necessary Stage. Her credits include Titik Nol by Agnes Christina that toured Indonesia. Mama Looking For Her Cat: Legend Alive Online and Play Play was part of their Poor Theatre Series by The Theatre Practice that toured to China and Australia. Besides acting, she is involved in numerous productions as a lighting designer and production stage manager.

In 2008, she graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Technical Theatre.

Esther Yap

Esther's professional debut onstage was with Ah Kong's Birthday Party (Singapore Repertory Theatre) in 1998, after receiving her BA in Drama from Queensland University of Technology.

In 2001, Esther joined the Singapore Arm Forces Music and Drama Company where she trained and performed in events like SAF Day and National Day Parade as host, singer and dancer. Since then, she has regularly been hosting events such as the Singapore Airshow Welcome dinner

She has since appeared in numerous productions such as Ikan Cantik (Teater Kami), The Crucible (DramaPlus Arts), Club Tempest (3.14), A Beautiful Companion (TheatreWorks), Beauty World (WildRice) ShangHai Blues(Toy Factory), Catching Adam Cheng (Action Theatre) and Stop Kiss (Livid Room), which earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination during the 2nd DBS Life! Theatre Awards. She was last seen on stage as a Chio Buu in Dream Academy’s Broadway Beng: Jiak Liu Lian as well as the exhilarating restaging of Singapore’s inaugural mandarin musical December Rain by Toy Factory.

Esther is currently a full-time teacher, a career which she finds challenging and very full-filling. And to top that off, Esther has recently taken on the most exciting role of her life- a mother to a 5 month old baby boy.

Farah Ong

Farah Ong is an independent artist based and residing in Singapore. She is an actor, a performance artist, a voiceover artist, children’s theatre director and a teaching artist. She makes art, sometimes in the most unconventional mediums and forms.

Rafeyah Abdul Rahman a.k.a. Yaya

Rafeyah Abdul Rahman or Yaya, 44, is a former primary school teacher. She 'exited' the profession to give herself a chance to pursue her other passion of making kuehs and dreams. She is a relentless reader and a photography hobbyist. She has gained theatre experiences with Teater Kami since its early inception and, sparingly, with a few other companies. She has dabbled in stage management, lighting operation, publicity and lately, writing.

Ikan Cantik is the first of her two acting involvements in an ensemble cast.

Suhaili Safari

Suhaili Safari has worked professionally as a theatre practitioner since 2005. Although largely a stage actor, Suhaili has dabbled in writing and/or directing in productions such as The Kingdom Under My Bed (2010), a children’s play under Teater Ekamatra and Move, As We Move (2017) under Kaizen MD. She actively involves herself in community partnership, and does this through outreach endeavours with Sweet Tooth by Cake Theatrical Productions and Drama Box for Both Sides, Now. Her recent work includes 'The Clockwork Orange' (2019, Teater Ekamatra), 'Tanah°Air' (2019, Dramabox) and 'Inside Voices' (2019, Lazy Native) which won Best Outstanding Work at the annual Vaults Festival in London.

She was also one-fifth of the band, The Psalms as vocalist and lyricist. Always an eager participant in music improvisations, she contributed her voice to various sessions from Sounding Now’s Open Spaces at YST Conservatory (2019), The Observatory’s Playfreely sessions, in particular, No Man’s Land, an all women music improvisation (2017) and most recently SAtheCollective’s ThirdSpace Sessions - Voce (2020).

Suhaili is currently aspiring to create more solo works both in theatre and music beginning with The Cleanse, developing it specifically as part of The Substation's State of Love and Trust and Stars programme in August 2019.

  • The event description was updated. Diff#669207 2020-07-22 07:58:10
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Fri Jul 24, 2020
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM SGT
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