A school. A murder. A scandal.
Air Con the way I see it.
A brilliant play.
Ive been watching ads on Astro about this play and I love the photos it featured. Bunch of schoolboys laughing with a very green scenery as background, totally eye-catching!
I didnt manage to get the laughing picture though.
About the play.
Kakak Liana, Abang Hery and I got in 20minutes late so the characters introduction werent so clear but we manage to catch up due to its clever scene and plot arrangement. And thats why the first few minutes after we were seated comfortably we were already laughing our asses off with the tummy holding phase and all. Kalau orang melayu cakap, 'tak kering gusi'. For a second there I can feel what its like to be sitting among the live audiences, watching the cast of Friends doing their thing. Air Con is a coming of age play, exploring friendship, love, education, religion, race, homosexuality, society and identity. Tackling serious issues but presented in such way that we can really relate to. The play was set in a boys school where they have the softies (The Pondan clan) who were the victims as always, the macho guys (The Cool clan) and just like in movies, they are often the bullies, and then theres The Adult (teachers).
The Pondan clan consists of
Asif (played by Ryan Lee) a witty racist mixed blood nerd who talks way too fast which makes him laughable,
William (played by Nick Davis) an indecisive boy (cannot decide which guy in school to have a crush on) who often mistaken Asif or everyone else for that matter, as a Chinese hater, in a funny comedic way,
Mimi (played by Firdaus Che Yahya) the boy of words and actions, very loud and physical and always very dirty minded, but nevertheless hilarious in every way even the way he dries his curly hair,
and of course my favourite character among The Pondan clan, Mona (or Nazrul after being brainwashed in ceramah agama, played by Hazarul Hasnani) a one-liner who often has things to say but often the last one to say it, his voice was the softest among them which makes him the more interesting one.
And then theres The Cool clan which consists of
Burn (played by Zahril Adzim, whose look reminds me so much of Ariel from Indonesian band, Peterpan), the golden boy of the school who is always so logical in his moves thus giving the unexpected ending, who shared a pure friendship with
Chep (played by Amerul Affendi, brilliant actor, watch out for this dude), the guy with all the negative vibes but deep down inside, craving for love and attention, and often misuse his power (he reminds me of someone at school whom we can never tell on because he is the Head of PIBG's son or the apple in the eyes of typical teachers).
It was obvious that each character was created based on either experience or detailed study. Because I can really relate to most characters (I used to have this gay friend from La Salle gosh he's hilarious and forever calling me Leng Lui haha), like the teachers for example.
Cikgu Hensem (played by Ismadi Wakiri) was this strict teacher, someone we see as reliable and caring, the one we would go to, to seek help and to tell on others (eg. Hanis: Omg cikgu hari tuh saya nampak dia merokok kat pusat bowling), someone whom we thought would show much concern over our endless problems. Oh how naive of us the school children. Little that we know, being strict is only a part of their job and how they actually couldnt care less about our problem. When issued a problem not related to them, they would often give advice which start with these words " Sometimes in life..." and crap about their own experience and sometimes gets out of the topic without even realizing it. And in the end, nothing is solved, and the poor child wil go back home, confused. *Based on true story*.
Ustaz (played by Nam Ron) was more or less the same, only much more complicated as he is selfish when he only sees things in general and does things only to his advantage such as forcing Cikgu Hensem to include numerous amount of ceramah agama (in hope that somehow this can solve everything) in Pondan Camp's schedule.
The dead tranny prostitute, Aishwarya (played by Dara Othman) can be seen during flashbacks, and she/he is a funny woman/man her/himself. In fact each member of the cast is funny in their own way, even Ah Kok (played by hew Kinwah) the air cond repair apek. If the main actor is not determined by the amount of scenes he has or the issue he tackles, all of them would be the star. All of them did gave their best performance, and it shows.
The stage set up and the sound effects were brilliant as they were very effective in playing around with my mood. Eventhough the main stage set up only consist of some plain long white windows, I could really feel that they were in this old building of boys school, probably somewhere in KL (I later found out, it was actually Kedah). This was of course aided by the amazing lighting effect that worked very well in indicating the time and the mood of the scene. For example, eventhough they were surrounded by long white windows, the sound and light effects made me feel as if I was at the corner of the school field, watching two boys (which whom one of them I might have a crush on), in the evening, during hockey practice as 'Chep and Burn in Hockey Field' scenes were being played.
The ending of the play was unexpectedly awesome. The play ended with another tragic death. The end of a pure friendship. It also ended with the start of a new gay relationship. And I somehow feel that the whole scandal will start all over again involving the new gay couple. Awesome ending ey? (I wont tell who killed who, who's dating who, but if I were to ask you to go and watch it yourself also, no use, they've already wrapped everything up.)
Nobody told me that Air Con was an X-rated play. The excessive usage of dirty words (which made it a one hell of a hilarious play) was still bearable. Okay fine it was enjoyable but the duration of extremely physical scenes like tranny prostitute and schoolboy scene, schoolboy and schoolboy scene, (both scenes were on for more than 20seconds) was too lengthy for my liking. Apart from that, everything else was *showing two thumbs up*.
During dinner at Mak Jah Kopitiam, Abang Hery revealed that he already feel guilty for looking down and making fun of softies (lelaki lembut) during his school days. Wow so fast already learned some lessons. Brilliant play!
There are things in life that you shouldnt take too seriously.
Chill. Dont harm yourself.