1st Floor, Bon Ton Restaurant
7 Jln Kia Peng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
THE INSTANT CAFE THEATRE COMPANY
Instant Cafe Theatre Company (ICT) was formed in December 1989 in
an attempt to provide a little alternative entertainment for the Malaysian
public and ended up being a new and distinctive voice in contemporary
Malaysian writing and theatre. They instantly garnered a following
with their wickedly funny satirical revues which lampooned everything
from Malaysian social mores to political skullduggery.
Since 1989, it has been home and/or breeding ground for a generation
of Malaysian comedians who honed their talents in the framework of political
revue shows. Today the company comprises actors, musicians, directors
and writers who together form a performing ensemble where the staple
diet has been ICT’s inimitable brand of biting social and political
Not renowned for pulling their punches, The Instant Cafe Theatre Company
still survives, oddly enough, and is even invited to perform for the
very establishment it dissects so ruthlessly.
To date, the Company has performed hundreds of revue shows for the Malaysian
public and for private/corporate functions in most of the major cities
in Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu,
Kuching, Miri, Ipoh, Kota Bahru, Kuantan, Seremban and Malacca as well
as in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The Company strongly believes that Instant Cafe has a role in encouraging
Malaysians to think about the nature of their country’s development
in giving validity to things other than the narrowly political definitions
‘nation building’. The seriousness of their intent and their commitment
to forging theatre that is committed to freedom of expression has resulted
in works that are satirical and provocative leading more than one critic
to exult that ‘ICT exists in our midst’ and another to declare that
‘comic theatre in this country does not get better than this’.
Apart from the comedy revues, ICT has since its inception also staged
a number of mainstream theatrical productions. In 1994, Instant Cafe
created Dramalab, an arm of the company specifically dedicated to encouraging
new writing. This subsequently became an independent theatre company.
In 1995, ICT organised an open air arts festival ‘Out in the Open’ in
the grounds of Carcosa Seri Negara which comprised a full month of performance
events. It was at the time one of the most ambitious projects in the
history of the performing arts in Malaysia.
In 1996, Instant Cafe opened its own self-funded space - Instant Cafe’s
Theatre Upstairs - but despite being a highly popular comedy and theatre
venue, it was forced to close down at the end of 1997 (due to financial
and not political reasons!).
Although itinerant once again, ICT continues to perform in a variety
of venues and can be found performing or playing a key role in most
events which has a strong human rights agenda.
Performers, Writers and Producers Past and Present
Adflin Shauki, Adeline Tan, Allan Perera, Amir Muhammad, Andrew Leci,
Ari Ratos, Brian McIntyre, Brian Quirk, Chacko Vadaketh, Chae Lian,
David Gomes, Dicky Cheah, Edwin Sumun, Harith Iskandar, Huzir Sulaiman,
Ida Nerina, Indi Nadarajah, Indra Kukathas, Irizal, Iskandar Najmuddin,
Jit Murad, Jo Kukathas, Joanna Bessey, Lipraxedes Jumawan, Junji Gomes,
Kam Raslan, Lin Jaafar, Maria Gomez, Mohd Sobri, Monita Tan, Na’a Murad,
Nell Ng, Patrick Teoh, Paula Malai Ali, Puvan Selvanathan, Rachel Malai
Ali, Rashid Salleh, Saidah Rastam, Saiward Greene, Samantha Schubert,
Sandra Sodhy, Shalini Marimuthu, Shanthini Venugopal, Sukania Venugopal,
Sunil Kumar, Susie Kukathas, Zahim Albakri
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