Multidisciplinary artist Hannan Azlan is the kind of woman you’d want to accompany around town, galloping across puddles and bursting into song and dance.
With Tanner the ukulele in hand, this 21-year old is a ferociously quick-witted presence; rhymes, melodies and jokes (mostly inappropriate) spout from her being frequently, reminding observers that young females too can pack a performing arts punch.
Finding ground through Theatre For Young People (T4YP), a youth theatre initiative founded by theatre educator and practitioner Christopher Ling for the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, Hannan first hit the stage as a teenager and started out with a Caryl Churchill play.
Soon, she led a production of Through The Looking Glass under the direction of eventual Electric Minds Project coordinator Alex Chua, and quickly grew into an up-and-comer in local theatre.
Last year, she boasted stellar turns in Theatrethreesixty‘s stunning Love and Information and How I learnt to Accept Reality by Sleeping Through It (Anak/Benih).
But while her career as an actress has only taken off, Hannan hit gold by taking a chance with open mic, performing stand-up comedy to an eager, unsuspecting crowd at the Crackhouse Comedy Club. She had something very different from the rest however; Hannan sang most of her jokes on the ukulele, and brought audiences on emotional journeys with her songwriting.
Soon, everything started falling into place: comedy gigs flowed in, more roles in theatre arrived, while her music began to steady itself as a reliable creative avenue. She eventually scored a spot in the English version of Komediri, a comedy show airing on Astro Warna and Astro Mustika HD, and has started performing for corporate gigs.
For us at The Daily Seni, she’ll always be remembered for her hair-raising performance at Short + Sweet Festival last year. As an entrant in the Song/Comedy category, Hannan surprised audiences with a remarkably tender song about getting over one’s fears and insecurities. It came complete with a hint of her unique comedy and proved a mindblowing, heartfelt piece.
So when “I’m frightened by a lot of things but that shouldn’t stop me from trying, right?” ended up second runner-up behind a jazz-band number about being in love and two Chinese ghosts singing about all the food they miss, we were understandably shocked.
Listen to the song and tell us what you think: does this young woman have the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to keep you enticed? Because that’s the kind of refreshing Hannan Azlan exudes on a typical day.
You can actually learn more about Hannan through her very own official hannanazlan.com but this write-up exists because she’s about to do a pretty insane show this weekend with some of Southeast Asia’s top comediennes, and you’d want to catch Hannan and Tanner; trust us.
Fresh off a top-notch production of The Merchant of Venice with the KL Shakespeare Players, Hannan will be sharing the Crackhouse Comedy Club stage with Sharul Channa, Shamaine Othman, Kristal Zweers and Joanna Sio this Saturday. She’s one of them now, bless her little (big) heart.
Contributing to the Crackhouse Comedy Club’s Crackhouse Carnival, Hannan and these four women will be putting on a special performance titled Show Us Your Wits. It’s pretty self-explanatory and they’re all kinda gorgeous so make sure to head over to catch some exhilarating, bouncy wits.
But if you have cash to burn you can catch the show in Singapore tomorrow and laugh two full days in advance of your Malaysian brethren, because time zones. That’s right; before the show hits the Crackhouse this Saturday, it’ll make its way to SOTA Drama Theatre on 28 April as part of the Singapore Comedy Fringe this year.
But if comedy’s not your thing (bore!) then we hope you somehow find a way to skip along to Hannan’s beats and maybe even leave your fears at bay, because we’re all frightened by a lot of things but that shouldn’t stop us from trying, right? Bad puns aside, see you on Saturday, folks.