Philadelphia, Here I Come! returns to KLPAC from July 9 to 17

Philadelphia, Here I Come! returns to KLPAC from July 9 to 17

This will be the first staging of the celebrated play – an adaptation of an Irish stage production – since 2013

THE Malaysian adaptation of Irish playwright Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come! is returning to the stage, specifically Pentas 2 of the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) from July 9 to 17.

This localised version of the play, presented by The Actors Studio (TAS) and adapted by Joe Hasham, was previously staged in 1994, 1998 and 2013 to great acclaim. The latest production will also include the return of original cast members Faridah Merican, Patrick Teoh and Andre D’Cruz.

This version takes place in Cheras – a departure from its Irish origins – and follows Danny Tan as he runs a pasar mini along with his father SB Tan.

This new staging takes place in 1997 (25 years ago!), a year known for, among other things, Hong Kong’s handover from the British to China, Princess Diana’s tragic death and the release of Titanic, the cinematic phenomenon of the year.

Danny has become frustrated with a number of things, and wants to move to Philadelphia in the US, which sparks the eternal question ‘is the grass really greener on the other side?’

Hasham, who played Danny in a 1969 production in Perth, Australia in a statement from TAS said, “We all dream of a better life. My father left Lebanon for Australia, working multiple jobs until he could bring us all over.

“But the play is much more than that – it is also about love, though it may be unspoken.

“You see it in the uncommunicative and tight-lipped father played by Patrick Teoh, the pillar of the household Mak Cik Esah and in Danny.

“You will laugh but you will also cry as it’ll tug at your heartstrings. As one reviewer aptly sums up, it will bring you on a roller-coaster ride.”

One of the more interesting aspects of this play was that playwright Friel created two personas for the protagonist – Danny Public (the one we see), played by Jun Teoh, and Danny Private (the inner voice of the character), played by Nabil Zakaria.

The rest of the new cast include Amanda Ang, Freddy Tan, Samuel Low, Tan Meng Kheng, Chloe Lee, Chen Wen Xuen, Daniel Hussin, Nandagopall Mohan Sundarram, Nicholas Lai and Tin Raman.

The shophouse setting is brought to life by set designer Yusman Mokhtar and set builder Paul Hasham, lit by lighting designer Amelia Tan with sound design by Chris Higgs and dramaturg Omar Ali.

The original version of the play premiered in Ireland more than 50 years ago and went on to garner several Tony Award nominations during its Broadway run.

Tickets can be purchased via WhatsApp 018-227 7212 or visit for more details.

source – The Vibes

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