Tiger of Malaya (2018)

12 September 2018 – 23 September 2018 @ Drama Centre Black Box, National Library building


In 1943, the Japanese film 'The Tiger of Malaya' was released. Based on the life story of Tani Yutaka, a Japanese man who lived on the east coast of Malaya, the film portrayed him as a patriotic agent who liberated the Malay natives from British imperialists and Chinese capitalists.

Now, more than 70 years later, a group of actors are going to reenact scenes from the film. Real Malay actors will replace the 'brown face' Japanese actors in the original. Chinese actors will play antagonists who are 'less evil'. A Japanese actor will try to find a space of performance between the wartime propaganda classifications of heroes, villains and victims.

As they comically attempt to 'correct' history, they discover how their identities are sustained not by the accuracies of history but the stubbornness of myths.

Written by: Alfian Sa'at
Directed by: Mohd Fared Jainal
Dramaturgy by: Shawn Chua

Performed by: Farez Najid, Siti Khalijah Zainal, Rei Poh, Rei Kitagawa, Yuya Tanaka 

(Source: Teater Ekamatra Website)


Alfian Sa'at
Shawn Chua
Rei Kitagawa
Yuya Tanaka


Tiger of Malaya (2018), Review
We didn't start the fire ... Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Teater Ekamatra has staged one of the strongest theatrical experiences seen by this reviewer so far this year. Helmed by its artistic director Mohd Fared Jainal, and penned by prominent English and Malay language playwright, poet and short story writer, Alfian Sa’at, Tiger of Malaya is a very strong, funny, and powerful piece. It looks into one’s history, and reinterprets it through the eyes of a new generation of artists who a
Christian W Huber
Reviewed: 13 September 2018