OK. I'm having problems remembering when the drama night was actually conducted. So let me try to get some timelines clear, as much as I could remember ya. Why, I couldn't even remember the exact month when I first got into the PPP/ITM "A" Levels programme. But I could safely say this, it started sometime in the second-half of the year 1988 as we were chosen based on our good results for our SPM examinations which we took while in Form Five at secondary schools, end of 1987.
We received our SPM results sometime in February 1987 or so and only after that we got busy looking and applying for prospective universities to continue our studies at. But the system is such that there's no way we could go to university straight except through matriculation programmes or the "A" Levels, both considered intermediate level of studies or college level between secondary schooling and university. Since at this stage, students are taught to get ready for university level of study arrangements, we started following the semester system as opposed to the term system used during our schooldays. Thus the "A" Levels programmes must have started after the mid-year holidays and that must be after June or at the latest August or so I think.
The next batch of "A" Level students, that is Batch 8 (remember, mine is Batch 7) must have come at about the same time but in 1989 a year later. The drama night I'm trying to remember involved mainly my batch... there could have been involvement from our seniours in Batch 6 but I couldn't remember that very well. Whatever, it was too early to be conducted in 1988 itself as we students were barely gelling together in our groups. So I suppose it must have been conducted sometime early 1989, perhaps in March or so...
Anyway, there we were, some of us from Group J hanging out in class when someone mentioned about the upcoming drama night. Azmil @ Tonga already had a drama script brought from his schooldays titled Johnderella and we agreed to make it work.
Now, Johnderella (as the name might suggest) is sort of a male version of the classic fairytale Cinderella. The story is basically the same except for a different background mainly created to support a story which is more of a comedy. Without much further thought, in fact without any thought I think, the guys and girls elected for me to be the hero Johnderella. Why? Maybe because then I fit the stereotypical description of hunk that should be a hero, hehe! Well, it might seem like I'm just praising myself but those who knew me from those days would mostly agree except for the sour grapes, again hehehe! :]
Here's the basic storyline. Johnderella lived with his two step-brothers and a stepmother. Being the son of deceased mother which the stepmother despised (and being a better looking person too), he was often bullied and forced to do all the housework which he duly obliged.
OK. Now I'm having trouble remembering the script. Did we have a dancing ball just like in Cinderella? Was there any princess looking for a prospective suitor as is the case but for the opposite sex reflecting the famous fairy-tale? What I could remember is there was an event but Johnderella was prohibited from leaving the house. So a Godfather (instead of the fairy godmother in Cinderella) came to help him get a better life.
The two stepbrothers were played by Amin @ Mangor and... now I remember another class-mate from Group J, Bad or Badrul. I can't remember who played the stepmother but the Godfather was a cool Tonga. So Johnderella was left behind as the brothers attended the event which I couldn't remember exactly what except there was to be a boxing match (or rather a few boxing matches) in which the final winner will get to marry the princess.
For the whole drama, I could remember me, Mangor and Bad having to wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts with sports shoes to match. I must admit I am actually a bad actor. Not that I couldn't act at all. It's just I liked to soak up the attention that I couldn't help giggling and making faces while sweeping the floor as the guys and gals watching from down the stage made signals and returned the smiles.
OK, I think the Godfather came to release me from being stuck in the house and handed me a pair of magic gloves. With that, I attended the boxing matches and had to fight my stepbrothers Bad and then Mangor to claim the main prize. Hmm... I also remember Utoi playing the palace official who made the announcement for the fight. I remember the fight being staged in three different modes - normal, fast forward motion and slow motion - and that managed to extract plenty of laughter from the audience.
So came the time for me as Johnderella to claim the prize. Came the princess (played by the Chinese-looking Ipoh girl, her name was Lina or something like that) daintily walking with a veil or her face. The veil was opened. Lo and behold the princess giggling with plenty of large red spots on her face as Johnderella fainted, doomed with the fate of being stuck with such a 'looker'.
As it turned out, the Johnderella drama staged by Group J won a few prizes. If I remember correctly, we won either third or second in the overall category. That category was won by one of the law classes which staged a very serious drama hinging on the question of innocence, sin, life and death. The main person of that drama, and actress was Az, the first girl to get real close to me during the "A" Level days (see Remembering the "A" Level college days. Start of the disco fun and girls... ).
Az won the best actress for the whole drama night. Azmil @ Tonga the best supporting actor. Me, the main actor of the Group J play was nowhere within the polls. Nevertheless I totally enjoyed playing the male Cinderella and with that I end this installment of "Remembering the "A" Level college days". Cheers! :]