*Age Suitability: 10 and above
*The performance contains glare, smoke effects and loud noises that some viewers may find distressing. Viewer discretion is advised.
This is the theatre we’ve been waiting for. Penang’s renowned Teochew iron-rod master puppeteer Ling Goh forges a groundbreaking bridge between traditional Teochew art form and Southeast Asian folklore with “IBU”, an extraordinary theatre performance inspired by the famous folklore, “Si Tanggang”. “IBU” tells the story of a young man Tanggang, who escapes his impoverished hometown and marries a foreign princess. When he returns to his hometown as the husband to a princess, he feels ashamed of his humble origins and refuses to recognise his old and ugly mother. Directed by theatre director Ling Tang and joined visual artist Stephen Teoh, multidisciplinary digital artist Abdul Shakir, indie band FAZZ, four young puppeteers and a team of experienced production talents, “IBU” promises a mindblowing performance that retains the essence of tradition and boldly innovates with modern values and contemporary aesthetics.
The Iron Gang Puppet Theatre is the first-of-its-kind contemporary iron-rod puppet troupe that explores the aesthetics and symbolism of Teochew iron-rod puppetry. Originated from China's Chaozhou (Teochew) region, iron-rod puppetry has evolved from the Chinese paper-shadow puppetry carrying rich cultural history and meanings. However, this traditional puppetry has now declined to the brink of extinction. Growing up in a family of puppetry practitioners, Ling Goh, a fourth-generation Teochew iron-rod puppeteer based in Penang, Malaysia, aspires to revitalise the dwindling traditional art form. The Iron Gang Puppet Theatre was formed in 2022 to explore the possibilities of iron-rod puppetry revitalisation and to nurture new generations of puppeteers, bringing the traditional art form on a journey of finding its feet in the contemporary theatre.