How did you come up with the idea for the show?
I’ve always been conscious of the stereotypes people have about Indians. I have had non-Indians say that Indians are “dirty tongues twisters” right in front of me on many occasions. And I do have a law degree. I did the University of London’s external program at Vanto Academy here in Kuala Lumpur in the late 1990s.
You approach racial relations in quite a direct way in this show. Why is this important?
Being subtle has its place. But sometimes, it is equally important to demand justice. In Malaysia and Singapore, we live in relative peace, which means we avoid friction with other races by swallowing racial slurs. In Indian Lawyers, we bring out racial slurs openly with humor. People realize they are not really antagonistic towards one another but instead laugh at themselves for stereotyping. They find out that much of stereotyping can be attributed to “mental typo errors.”
Share an interesting or funny incident that happened while you were rehearsing.
Well, many funny incidents actually happened in between or after the rehearsals. The actors would put to practice what they learned for the show. While having a break at a Mamak stall, they’d pretend to be lawyers and discuss law (especially when there were pretty girls sitting nearby).
If there’s one thing you’d like audiences to take away from the show, what would it be?
A wow feeling.
Indian Lawyers is on August 23-26 at Blue Room, The Arts House.