Performance Performing Arts

Review: Home (Anomalist Production, 2016)

Highly-anticipated follow-up to Bangsa relevant, unabashed in its rebuke of contemporary politics, though marred by lack of depth.


Written and directed by Khairi Anwar & Nell Hanan
Starring Iskandar Al-Haziq, Tunku Norhabibah, Hana Nadira, Clarence Kuna, Sara Zee

Anomalist Production‘s latest offering addresses the state of the nation; protagonist Shafiq can’t decide whether to contribute to the brain drain or remain in his own, troubled country. Those around him make things a bit more difficult — Shafiq’s professor believes he should cheat his way into Cambridge, his childhood friend wants to take their relationship to a new level, while his father insists better opportunities lie outside of Malaysia. Employing theatre as a platform to voice out their grievances, Anomalist scores relevance in their embrace of nationalism. Most invaluable is their rejection of bad governance and third-world mentality, making Home an especially important piece for today’s audiences. As such, it’s unfortunate that these young theatre-makers still opt for dramatic reveals and writing cliches — aside from utilising the Long-Lost Relative sub-trope, Home fails the Bechdel test. As a result, Anomalist’s new play skims rather than delves deep into its subject matter(s). The cast also fall prey to pantomime villainry, though Sara Zee‘s knack for comedy and Hana Nadira‘s sensitivity on stage form highlights. For all its faults however, Home entertained viewers and raised vital points about the nation in ninety minutes, deserving further credit for its sincere portrayal of young, outspoken Malaysians.


Home was held at Black Box, Damansara Performing Arts Centre from 18 – 20 March. For more details, make sure to check out Facebook.

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