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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Just for laughs: Return of the PJ Laugh Fest

Posted: 07 May 2014 09:00 AM PDT

The PJ Laugh Fest returns for its fifth instalment with lots of live humour and whacky acts.

This year's edition of the PJ Laugh Fest will feature a Bahasa Malaysia romantic comedy and a stand-up show.

Making its debut as a full production is Teater Awek Chuck Taylor (May 24-25), based on a true story about a loser called Hafiz and his budding relationship with hipster girl Mira. He attempts to be a playboy and eventually gets trapped in a love triangle.

PJ Laugh Fest will roll out at the PJ Live Arts festival venue at Block K at Jaya One, Jalan Universiti, Petaling Jaya in Selangor.

Back to Teater Awek Chuck Taylor, this stage adaptation of Nomi Nozwir's (who goes by his pen name Nami Cobb Nobler) best-selling novel was performed to sold-out houses earlier this year at a workshop production. The book has sold more than 30,000 copies since it was published in 2011.

Produced by Rumah Anak Teater (Rat), the rom-com will be performed in Bahasa Malaysia, without subtitles.

Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is an unusual and loosely scripted tribute to the BBC television series.

A meal with a difference: Faulty Towers The Dining Experience is an unusual and loosely scripted tribute to the BBC television series.

"The language used is very simple so audience need not worry that they won't understand the dialogue. It uses colloquial Malay, which every youngster is familiar with, especially in the social media circuit.

"Everyone can relate to the storyline because something is bound to touch you," says executive producer Faisal Mustaffa.

Directed by Elza Irdalynna, it stars Along Eyzendy, Inessa Irdayanty and Soefira Jaafar. In the past, Rat has often been associated with serious theatre and artsy stuff so this is their foray into comedy.

"When we were approached to do the play, we were not very confident of staging a comedy. But then, we said why not, let's try it! Surprisingly, it was a sold-out affair," Faisal adds.

Besides Teater Awek Chuck Taylor, there will also be Cerita Malam Jumaat (May 29), a stand-up featuring political activist Hishamuddin Rais, Rayza Mukmin and Benjy. However, because of the sensitive content of the show, only those 18 and above are allowed.

The line-up at PJ Laugh Fest 2014 includes a wider repertoire of comedies, from multi-lingua interactive comedy to immersion dining, farcical whodunits and puppetry.

Awek Chuck Taylor executive producer Faisal Mustaffa.

Awek Chuck Taylor executive producer Faisal Mustaffa.

"In a world of increasing digitisation, automation, computerisation and technological advances, it is often easy to forget that shared laughter is still an incredibly potent primal experience, which allows us to discover and engage the humorous nature of our humanity," says Diong Chae Lian, the executive director of PJ Live Arts.

One of the highlights of this year's fest is Faulty Towers The Dining Experience (May 14 to June 1).

Featuring gags and a meal, this unusual immersion of theatre is a loosely scripted tribute to the BBC television series made famous by comic actors John Cleese, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs.

For two hours, audience will enjoy a three-course meal served by the characters Sybil, Basil and Manuel.

It's a chaotic situation because one character is neurotic; the other is domineering while the third is language-challenged.

Another headlining show is Making S#it Up featuring Harith Iskander and his cohorts (May 21-22) comprising Jit Murad, Phoon Chi Ho, Douglas Lim, Kuah Jenhan, Keren Bala Devan, Rizal van Geyzel and Kavin Jay.

Expect rib-tickling moments when the bunch lashes out some combustible sketches, improvisations and bubbly humour.

In Manila Madness (May 18), Filipino comedians Alex Calleja, Victor Anastacio and G.B.Labrador go all out to prove that their nation is not just about domestic helpers and hotel lounge bands.

Performed in English with thick Filipino accent, the producers urge you to: "come laugh, clap, cheer and perhaps, treat your Filipino maid to a little comedy respite".

Now in its fifth year, PJ Laugh Fest kicks off on May 14 and will conclude on June 1. Among the remaining highlights are Projek Disco Baldi (May 15-18), Scary Cheap (May 15), Andrew Netto Horsing Around (May 17), Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones (May 24-26) and Shear Madness (May 28 to June 14).

During the festival period, MyTeksi users will get a RM10 discount on the fare when travelling to the show venue in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

For information and tickets, call 017-228 9849 or log onto www.tix.my. Show schedules at www.pjlivearts.my.

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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