Friends unite for staging of renowned ‘Gold Rain and Hailstones’ play

'Gold Rain and Hailstones' director Gavin Yap (second from left) with actors Farah Rani (left) Sharifah Amani (third left) and Ghafir Akbar (right). — Pictures by Ahmad Zamzahuri.
'Gold Rain and Hailstones' director Gavin Yap (second from left) with actors Farah Rani (left) Sharifah Amani (third left) and Ghafir Akbar (right). — Pictures by Ahmad Zamzahuri.

PETALING JAYA, Feb 23 — It has been a reunion of sorts for some cast members of Gold Rain and Hailstones.

Having worked together before on other projects under The Instant Cafe Theatre Company (ICT), actors Ghafir Akbar and Farah Rani feel a sense of kinship this time around.

Given the chance to have a part in the play, neither one of the actors could turn down the opportunity to work in "a play loved by people".

Farah said she owed a lot to ICT because they had hired her when she had just finished law school.

“I was still toying with the idea of acting or doing law or maybe doing both, but they gave me the courage and skills to have acting as a career,” she added.

“It’s fun as an actor to work in such a comfortable environment, with my friends, people I trust.”

Farah said that she was very blessed and grateful to be cast in such renowned play. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Farah said that she was very blessed and grateful to be cast in such renowned play. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

She also said working with familiar faces and people that she knows gave the actors a sense of freedom to "try things".

Ghafir described ICT as a "home" that gives a voice to the "misfits".

"When I returned from the US, they were the ones who approached me to offer me a place with them. It was more like 'how could I help them'."

Ghafir added that it has been really hard work rehearsing the play, but that it was fun because of the people he was surrounded with.

The actors are set to star in the play written by Jit Murad in 1992.

Ghafir plays Jay, a confident and flamboyant celebrity make-up and beauty guru.

Farah, meanwhile, stars as the main character Amy, a brave and outspoken woman who has recently come back home from after studying overseas.

The play tells the story of Amy's struggles to find a sense of belonging when she comes back from the United States to visit her ill father, whilst reconnecting with her old pals, Jay, Nina and Man.

'It's a play that has always been in my periphery, something people are always talking about,' said Ghafir. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
'It's a play that has always been in my periphery, something people are always talking about,' said Ghafir. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

“When the opportunity came to work on it I thought, 'I don’t want to do this play, I need to do it' ", said Ghafir.

He added that it has been really hard work rehearsing the play, but that it was fun because of the people he was surrounded with.

Both the actors spoke highly of the play and its history but even more highly of its writer, Jit.

Farah said Jit was a brilliant writer who had many layers to his writing.

“Sometimes we (actors) sit around and we talk about just how much this one line has,” she added.

Ghafir, instead, remembers the time when Jit came to his school, Victoria Institution KL to to give a talk on what it was like working in the arts.

"I was in Form 3. After that, I started thinking maybe I can do this,” he said.

He added that Jit was a very refined playwright, who did not have any airs about him.

“He’s a very astute observer and listener, he takes these experiences he has had and he puts it on stage for you to witness in your own reality."

ICT will be showcasing Gold Rain and Hailstones as its opening production on its 30th anniversary with Malay Mail as the media partner for the production.

The play will be held at the Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC) from March 1 till March 10.

Tickets are priced at RM65 and RM50 and are available at www.dpac.com.my or by calling 03-4065 0001 or 03-40650002.

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