Siapa Yang Bawa Melayu Aku Pergi? (Who Took My Malay Away?) is a lecture-performance that was inspired by the creator’s early experiences of living in London, and made with the knowledge of life as a Malay person who was born, raised and educated in Singapore. This solo performance explores what it means to be Malay and what it then means to be Malay in Singapore.
What begins simply as an attempt to reconnect with his culture – by sharing the disappearing traditional writing and reading system of the Malay Language, Jawi – then becomes a deeper exploration of lost culture, customs, heritage and self.
Mohamad Faizal Abdullah is a Muslim-Malay theatre-maker from Singapore, and a graduate of the MA Performance Making programme at Goldsmiths, University of London. Currently based in London, he spent over a decade as a theatre director, performer and facilitator in his native Singapore before coming to the UK.
He began his career as a theatre performer in Singapore in 2008, and he has worked with most of Singapore’s leading theatre companies including TheatreWorks, The Necessary Stage, Wild Rice, Cake Theatrical Productions and Teater Ekamatra. His work as a performer has taken him to theatre festivals in Brisbane, Osaka and Malaysia. Faizal is also the Artistic Director of the Singaporean theatre collective Hatch Theatrics. Founded in 2012, the collective is known for their contemporary take on Singapore and the Singaporean Malay stories and have received critical acclaim for their original plays. Faizal directed one of the Hatch’s most acclaimed works, Hawa, and the play was invited to present at the Brisbane Festival in 2017. He moved to London to pursue his MA in 2018 and since then has focused more in creating performances that speak about his identity and culture.
He devised, directed and acted in Siapa Yang Bawa Melayu Aku Pergi? (Who Took My Malay Away?), which he first developed during his course at Goldsmiths, a personal piece that questions his identity as Singaporean-Malay person and a reflection of the community’s standing and status in Singapore and the larger world. It was later presented as a work-in-progress at Camden People’s Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre and Park Theatre.
London credit includes curious directive’s Deciphering (4 stars from The Guardian) & was part of the Royal Court’s NO BORDERS helmed by Nastazja Domaradzka. Currently, as a facilitator he is working with Contact (Manchester) & Talawa (London) on their training programmes on anti- racism and unconscious bias.
Press & Reviews
1. Short Quote
"Praise for Siapa Yang Bawa Melayu Aku Pergi? Work In Progress"
Genuinely Informative, with a sense of reclamation and power. - Audience Member
2. Short Quote
"Praise for previous work"
The work produced by Faizal is of a high standard and whilst it oscillates between theatre and performance-making, it is accessible, provoking and, perhaps most importantly, entertaining. - 'No Borders', Nastazja Domaradzka
3. Short Quote
"Praise for previous work"
'His work stems from the place of empathy and collaboration, towards his fellow creatives and his audiences, and it’s rare to meet such generosity and openness as his in a making space. - 'Stepah:@mdfaizalabdnie Street', Deciphering
Cast & Creative Team Creator & Performer : Mohamad Faizal Abdullah
Producer : Nur Khairiyah Ramli