Play to go on despite director's arrest

Play to go on despite director's arrest
(From left) Rahmat M. Nor, founder of Matahari Theatre, Fairuz Atiqah Noor Mohamed, an artiste and Richelle M South, an experienced dancer from America, are working together to produce Floods of Alibis, an English theatrical drama to be staged at the School of the Arts (Sota) from 29 May to 8 June 2014.

SINGAPORE - Rahmat M. Nor's mystery play, Floods Of Alibis, has been on a difficult journey to the stage.

Not least of which has been the recent arrest of the play's director, well-known arts and entertainment figure Rafaat Hamzah, for drug-related offences three weeks ago.

Rahmat, 47, a Singaporean writer and educator, has not been able to get in touch with Rafaat and believes he is still in custody. The show's producer, American dancer-producer Richelle South, has since stepped into the role of director.

"Putting the show together has also been a psychological challenge for us," Rahmat says.

But he is relieved and confident that the show will open as planned on June 25 at the DBS Arts Centre.

Incidentally, the play itself is a psychological thriller, about a psychology professor who finds one of her brightest students dead in her office. She must work against time to unravel the case.

Set in the 1970s on an unspecified university campus, it stars Italian theatre practitioner Alessandra Fel as Professor Samantha Fay and award-winning Singapore actor Najib Soiman as her protege, Ronald.

The cast has been rehearsing since March and Rafaat had laid the directorial groundwork for the production prior to his arrest. He is a three-time winner of the Best Lead Actor Award at the Malay entertainment awards ceremony Pesta Perdana.

Rahmat adds that Rafaat had been "completely professional" and worked well with the actors.

The show had endured another bump earlier in the year, when a cast member's medical condition delayed the show's opening for a month, from May to June. Things are now back on track and they have a full slate of final rehearsals this week.

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