A hybrid of complex yet simple, hilarious yet touching, educational and entertaining, The Language Archive delivers and delivers spectacularly.
Written by playwright Julia Cho, the award-winning play has all the elements of a good time out at the theatre – an engaging story, lovable and deeply flawed characters and a few lessons.
Presented by PH7 Production, the play revolves around the protagonist George (Gavin Yap), a linguist and an expert at archiving dying languages of the world. While he speaks many languages, he still finds it difficult to say the right words and convince his wife Mary (Anitha Abdul Hamid) to stay in the marriage.
Her departure leaves him in turmoil, and George struggles to record the words of Alta (Sukania Venugopal) and Resten (Zahim Albakri) – the last two speakers of a rare language as they refuse to utter a word to each other in their native tongue when they are angry with each other. He is accompanied by his loyal archival assistant, Emma (Farah Rani) who keeps her love for him close to her heart.
Directed by the talented Ghafir Akbar, the play was charmingly executed by the entire cast. Alta and Resten’s arguments at the linguist’s office was real and funny, with Zahim and Sukania’s accents utterly lovable. Gavin’s presentation of the restrained and defeated linguist showed the depth of character, while both his onstage wife Anitha and assistant Farah were credible as the two women in his life, trying to get his attention in their own ways.
It there was a minus point in the production, it would have to be the play slowing down 10 minutes before intermission. Still, The Language Archive, produced by Pat Gui and Hamindon Ab Hamid, was a hands-down treat to theatre lovers – and a testament to the the talented actors we have here in Malaysia.
Weekend shows continue on October 8 and 9 at 3pm at KuAsh Theatre, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail. Ticket prices areRM75 & RM95 and can be purchased at selected Rock Corner, Victoria Music Centre outlets and at the door before the show.