PETALING JAYA, March 19 — As the nation enters day two of the restricted movement control order, many are finding creative ways to restore a sense of normalcy.

That includes theatre stalwarts and Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) founders Datuk Faridah Merican and husband Joe Hasham.

With the theatre temporarily shut, the duo is now reading stories online for children of all ages, a move that many parents will be grateful for.


The duo launched their first ever video storytelling session yesterday on the theatre’s Facebook page where they read Quentin Blake’s Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets.

“Stuck at home with nothing to do?


“Grab that hot choc, round up your kids (husbands included), stuffed animals or fur babies and tune in to Storytime with Uncle Joe & Aunty Faridah,” the description below the video read.

According to the post, the idea was hatched on Sunday over WhatsApp and the video was recorded on Monday before the theatre closed.

Storytime with Uncle Joe & Aunty Faridah has the simple aim of “spreading some warmth and love”.

The endearing and animated clip also reminded viewers to practise good personal hygiene to protect them from Covid-19.

“We are going to tell you a story but before we do, have you washed your hands for 20 seconds?” said Joe in the clip.

“If you haven’t, you go and wash your hands now and press the pause button.”

Faridah and Joe told Malay Mail they have been cooking, reading, watching television and feeding their cats during the restricted movement order.

“Also enjoying Paul’s cooking, he’s being the ‘good son’ and dropping off food for us on a daily basis,” Joe added.

They are also figuring out how to read more stories.

“Considering the wonderful reaction to our first story we will certainly be looking for more material.

“If the audiences want them, Faridah and I will continue to read,” said Joe.

The couple’s storytelling video has been watched 5,900 times at the time of writing.

They also said they will be back with another session “very soon”.

Apart from online storytelling, Faridah and Joe said klpac has another ongoing project during the restricted movement order titled #lockdownart.

The project is helmed by The Actors Studio (TAS) actor in-residence Ho Lee Ching where she will be picking monologues from TAS and klpac’s past original productions and inviting others to upload their interpretation of the monologue on social media.

Ho is also looking for ways to engage people and collaborate through art-making while being confined in their homes during the Covid-19 shutdown.