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Darren Yeoh interview

The award-winning steampunk take on the biblical story of Joseph and his dreams returns to PJ Live Arts. We chat with the director to find out more about 'The Tailor Made Man'

Darren Yeoh

How did the idea of telling the story of Joseph with steampunk elements come about?
The vision was to create something that the Malaysian audience had not seen before. During the time of writing the script, our playwright Jason Ding was fascinated with steampunk as a concept and took on the challenge to use that as a visual template for this story.

You were assistant director and played the character of The Tailor for the 2013 production. As director for this year's show, will you be bringing anything new to the play?
For this year's production, I have set out to further define the steampunk theme. This will clearly be seen in the makeup, costume and music. I've also enhanced the story so the audience can better understand the characters and how it relates to us in reality.

Joseph believes in his dreams and eventually realises them. How do you think dreams power a person?
Dreams give people hope - to take a leap of faith, to do the impossible. It's powerful because in that process, you're also allowing your character and attitude to be moulded and this prepares you to be that person who is able to truly handle the dream when it comes to pass.

Managing a team of mostly first-timers must have been a challenge – especially for a restaging of an award-winning play. How did you go about this?
Our first production gave us insights into the kind of challenges we would expect in a re-stage. For both cast and crew, we used a kind of mentor-mentee approach to build skill and confidence. Actspressions always believes that people relationship and teamwork are the key success factors in a production. It's a beautiful journey of people building people.

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