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WAK2018: Every Brilliant Thing

The Kuching theater scene is growing, and during the on-going What About Kuching 2018 (WAK2018), a play named Every Brilliant Thing was done at the Old CourtHouse here in town.

Showing on both 12th and 13th of October as a ticketed event, the show featured Abdul Qahar Aqilah and it was directed by theatrethreesixty’s artistic director Christopher Ling.

The Guardian, labelled the play as “one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression”, and I was excited to see if this was true.

Before the play started, the commentator said that Every Brilliant Thing is done in an intimate setting, and I couldn’t agree more. The Old Court House gave the whole play it’s community like feel, and the crowd sat near the centre stage close to the play.


I’d admit that I’m not really well acquainted with theater and this is the first theater show I’ve actually seen.

That said, I can’t really compare Every Brilliant Thing with other plays but I can say this much: I found that Every Brilliant Thing was simply brilliant.

While I was half expecting something like the Romeo and Juliet scenes as seen on TV, this was totally different.

I found myself indulging in creative impromptu acts which addressed adult depression and suicide.  It was also interesting to note that Every Brilliant Thing was not exactly a one-man show as I read in papers before this, with the guest also asked to step up as participants.

Yes, by right it was supposed to be a one-man show, but Abdul Qahar Aqilah, who is the main actor on the center (as opposed to peripheral or non-center) stage later asked several people from the audience be his co-actors.

These participants were requested to do impromptu task while Abdul Qahar Aqilah moved in between the center and peripheral stage during the performances.

For my first theater experience, I was simply impressed with the participants’ improvisational acting, because they were not rehearsed! – I could never imagine myself doing something like that, so these participants really wowed me.

Qahar Aqilah himself was also brilliant. His interaction with the audience struck me as if all the people in the center and the peripheral stage were all engaged in the play. It was almost like everything was carefully choreographed, but as I said before, they weren’t!

Honestly, I can’t exactly pin down the whole play in detail, but it I guess it was suffice to say that I was intrigued by what I saw.

It made me realize that Kuching does have massive potential when it comes to plays like this, and the only thing missing thing would be an opportunity to see or join more of such plays.


Talking about more plays in Kuching, I do hope to see more theaters and plays in Kuching in the near future.

I felt that theatrethreesixty and WAK2018 did a wonderful job to bring Every Brilliant Thing to Kuching and judging from the crowd responses after the show, it was really successful.

I also think that theater is a good way for everyone to gain more knowledge, understanding, and empathy towards one another, and Every Brilliant Thing did an excellent job to give its audiences more awareness about mental health and how we can help manage it.

In a nutshell, it is important for us to be supportive towards our fellow friends by being open-minded, being willing to listen, and to help each other out in difficult times.

//Reported by Syaz. Editing by Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason

Cyril Dason was born and currently lives in Kuching. He loves jungle trekking, clean rivers and chilling out with friends.
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