Performance Performing Arts

Kandang: George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ reimagined

COMMUNISM, colonialism and survival in an oppressive world.

“Four legs good, two legs bad,” do sound like an old age saying that has been passed IMG_4136down from generation to generation when it is translated into Bahasa Malaysia to “Empat kaki kawan, dua kaki lawan.” The adaptation of the allegory titled, Animal Farm by the satirical George Orwell is not a direct interpretation of the controversial novel but, more of a localised version with characters of different names from the book and a ‘Malaysianize’ script. Kandang is directed by Omar Ali who is known for his versions of Shakespeare’s classics, Tragedi Hamlet (or Hamlet) and Dato Seri (or Macbeth) and now his latest production is how he visualised stages of class struggle beginning with the slave-owning industry, a proletariats versus bourgeoisie stage then a revolution by the oppressed lower class against their rulers.

IMG_4342Here, the animals in a farm called, Ladang Jones are discriminated to work hard daily for food; the buffaloes, Balau (Clarence Kuna) and Bajak (Nabil Zakaria) and the pigs, Tunggal (Ashraf Zain), Bintaga (Farah Rani), Gading (Joe Chin) and Markus (Zul Zamir) harvested the crops and toiled for scraps from their master, the violent and drunken Jones while the sole black goat, Pendek (Nik Waheeda) was milked against her will and the dogs kept watch of the ranch so order is maintained. A sudden change came about after the animals had a meeting discussing their fate and how they can be independent from the invisible chains they were held to quite similar to Marxism’s thought on the necessity for communism as “The proletariats have nothing but their hands and nothing to lose but their chains.”

Kandang focuses on the journey of the animals in cooperating to create a classless IMG_4701society where all the animals are the same and equal based on the seven rules that are promoted as law or the Rukun Haiawan however, in creating freedom, there is always the tussle to uphold it and to preserve a guarantee that everyone is truly on the same platform. The two-hour play is infused with the occasional pounding of drums to create a tense-like atmosphere, synchronised choreography and a new witty character, a rooster named, Jalak (Faez Malek) written for the show. The production will be held from 10th to 12th August 2017 (8.30pm) and 13th August (3.00pm) at Pentas 2, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Book your tickets through the phone (+603 4047 9000/+603 7880 7999) or online at

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