Amid safety fears on opening night, Penang play director lodges police report

The original promotional poster for the play. — Picture from Facebook/Fa Abdul
The original promotional poster for the play. — Picture from Facebook/Fa Abdul

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Playwright and director Fa Abdul said today she has lodged a police report, as several parties have threatened to protest tomorrow the opening night of her performance Sex in Georgetown City that was forced to be retitled as (Love) in Georgetown City.

In a statement issued today, she said she lodged the report at the Timur Laut police station in George Town yesterday to ensure her personal safety as well as that of her production crew, Performing Arts Centre of Penang (Penangpac) staff and the audience.

Tomorrow’s opening coincides with Valentine’s Day, which usually sees a spike in protests by Islamists over the annual celebration.

Yesterday, Fa said her play would address social issues that are impacting society and the nation “including interracial relationships, racism, paedophilia and infidelity” amid accusations that it would be “raunchy”.

Fa revealed today that many have attacked the performance with unsubstantiated accusations, including claims she will screen a pornographic film that may encourage vice.

“This production is not a film screening but a theatre play, and the play’s essence is to educate people on the widespread phenomenon taking place within society through the form of entertainment.

“Indeed, this (entertainment) is one of the ways of approaching local youths but unfortunately, this good intention has received backlash without prior validation,” she said.

Fa has since apologised for her oversight with regard to the misleading title of her play.

According to her, police reports were lodged by several parties and inspections by the Penang Island City Council had been carried out to investigate the production.

Islamist groups Ikram and Wafiq were among those who opposed the play, claiming it was “normalising” a culture of casual sex.

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