Where are the Arts?

I have recently purchased a ticket to watch a theatre play on the very first day that I arrive in London, the initial motive being to see one of my favourite actors of all time. A few moments later and I realized that it would be the very first play I would watch, in an actual theatre, not counting those that were made in church, which I myself had participated in my childhood.

Singapore doesn’t lack in the theatre scenes. I have often seen advertisements of both local and overseas productions going on at the Esplanade or a famous school of arts, telling myself that one day when I have the means I will go and watch one. The thought dissipated with my working life, but now that it has come back, I realized one astonishing truth: where is the theatre scene in Malaysia? How is it that I’m not aware of whether there is one in my own home country?

I recall P. Ramlee, the man who was highly regarded in our history book on bringing the arts to life on screen and stage. But that is only it. I don’t even recall a single building in the vast Kuala Lumpur that is dedicated to the stage arts. Yet here I am, in Singapore, where musicals and plays are highly regarded, just as it is in London.

It makes me realize again my intense desire to show my beloved country, that there is more to life. There is more to their people’s talent. If there is a will, there is a way to put us on the map.

It’s up to me to do this.