Dramatic highlight of social issues

Hakim Hayat

A Malay theatrical production, Lorong Langir, captured the hearts theatre lovers during its staging at the Language and Literature Bureau in Berakas recently, demonstrating local talents in theatre.

The performance, staged by Kumpulan Putra Seni (KPS) in collaboration with the Language and Literature Bureau, aimed at polishing and bringing focus to potential talents in writing, acting, management and technical creativity.

Prior to its staging, a series of theatrical clinics were held, aimed at encouraging Malay theatrical art expressions, to support the country’s development in theatre arts and drama writers.

Established in 1984, KPS is an association that has been actively and continuously working towards the manifestation of Brunei culture – literature in stage performances domestically and beyond.

As a youth association collaborating with the Brunei Youth Council, KPS gives its full commitment in programmes implemented by the council and has been given the mandate to perform in official events in the country and internationally, to showcase contemporary theatre and art. KPS has also been invited to facilitate theatrical workshops in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

The play ‘Lorong Langir’ in progress. PHOTOS: HAKIM HAYAT
A scene from the play

With its members, KPS has explored various new art dimensions or performance art, including literary performances that they have been dominating for three decades, while keeping with Bruneian, Islamic and educational values, in tandem with national interests.

Lorong Langir, the culmination of work from a team of over 50 people, is produced by Zeffri Ariff and directed by Muhammad Arffan bin Haji Akif. The theatrical production highlights social struggles in a community.

Conflicts arise when a student, who is also a new resident of the village of Lorong Langir, finds a hallway scattered with a large amount of litter and the janitor responsible for its cleanliness threatened by the presence of the student.

The play, full of suspenseful moments, tells the story of the conflict between the student and janitor and how the community of Lorong Langir cultivates trust and social responsibility.

The community is later rocked by a bizarre incident as piles of garbage are dumped in the neighbourhood late at night. The identity of the culprit is revealed at the later stage of the play.

The play’s producer Zeffri Ariff is a prominent local playwright and a prolific writer known to many for his contributions to the local creative industry.

In 2011, he was awarded the Southeast Asia Write Award in 2011.

Zeffri is a lecturer at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and teaches Malay literature, creative writing, culture, media and theatre studies.

The performance of Lorong Langir took place at the Language and Literature Bureau in Berakas last Saturday, and saw Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin attend as the guest of honour.