Wayang – Malaysian Stories

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Wayang – Malaysian Stories

Masakini Theatre Company presents the third edition of its shadow theatre performance series, choosing three legends to be told with the help of handmade puppets, light works and accompanying music and sound effects by nine live actors. Taking the centre stage are the puppets, handcrafted from cardboard and recycled paper. Here’s a look at some of the stars of the show.

Weaver girl Zhinu and cowherd Niulang 
These two characters are from the Legend of Qixi, a romantic story from Chinese mythology about the forbidden love between an ethereal being and a mortal man. The couple is only reunited once a year – on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month – upon a bridge formed by a flock of magpies across the river that separates them.

Sea princesses 
These three out of the seven sea princesses come from the story of Ulek Mayang, which follows a group of fishermen who find themselves swept onto a shore after their boat capsizes. One of fishermen remains comatose – the sea princesses have possessed his soul, and it isn’t until they are ordered by the eldest sister to return to the waters that the man can finally wake up again.

Evil character from the tale of Narashima 
In this story, terror grips the country under the rule of Hiranyakshipu, who is angry at Lord Vishnu over the death of his younger brother. When his son Prahlad turns out to be a devotee of Vishnu, Hiranyakshipu challenges him, only to be killed by Narasimha, Vishnu’s half man/half lion avatar.

By: Tham Ying Hui

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