The Performing Arts Centre of Penang (penangpac) is staging “The Glass Menagerie”
from 22nd to 24th September.
This classic American play, set in the era of the Great Depression, was written by Tennessee Williams. When the play premiered in 1944 Tennessee Williams, who went on to become one of America’s most renowned playwrights, achieved success for the first time. It won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award as Best American Play. It is also his most autobiographical play.
The play tells the story of a faded Southern Belle, Amanda Wingfield, who has been abandoned by her husband, and is trying to raise her two children under harsh financial conditions while longing for the comforts of her youth; Tom Wingfield, Amanda’s son, who works to support his family but is frustrated by his job, aspires to be a poet and feels burdened by his family; and Laura Wingfield, Amanda’s daughter and Tom’s older sister, who has a mental fragility and an inferiority complex that have isolated her from the outside world as she shelters herself in fantasy.
Starring as Amanda Wingfield is Marina Tan, one of Malaysia’s best known actresses, who brought the house down with her performance as sassy hairdresser Chanel in the comedy play “Shear Madness”, for which she won a Best Supporting Actor nomination in the 2015 Boh Cameronian Arts Awards. She has also had leading roles in “Marble Hearts”, “Don’t Let Shakespeare Know” and “Postcards from Rosa”.
The play is directed by Christopher Preslar, an American actor and director currently working in Penang. His most notable credits include the title role in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the Lion in
The Wizard of Oz and George in The Language Archive. He recently directed the Penang Players Music and Drama Society’s production of W;t. Christopher is also playing the role of Tom Wingfield in the play.
Laura Wingfield is played by Tan Seoh Chen, and Jim O’Connor, a childhood friend of Tom and Laura, is played by Ivan Gabriel. A professional trailer of the production has been made to give you a flavour of the atmosphere of the play: https://youtu.be/B1kt-hQoKwA