Penang Happenings | George Town Festival 2018
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George Town Festival 2018


George Town Festival is an annual, month-long celebration of culture, heritage, art, and community. The festival is now in its ninth-year drawing thousands of visitors each year to Penang. George Town Festival has become one of Malaysia’s – and Asia’s – must-see events. This year, the festival returns from August 4 until September 2, 2018.

With this year’s exciting line-up of programmes, here are our top 5 programmes that we are definitely looking forward to!



Isle of Dreams is a mythological musical theatre piece featuring Nanguan and Beiguan music integrating with poetry, puppetry and ritual dance in the performance. Nominated for the 15th Taishin Arts Award and its premiere in 2016 was commissioned and sponsored by Quanta Arts Foundation. The reproduction was presented at the 2018 Taiwan International Festival of Arts in March.

2. Blind

Men and women, dressed in business attire – the everyday armour of the metropolis – are covered in clay and blindfolded. They walk slowly on the streets, poetically interfering in the city’s everyday flow. Blind, an urban performance, is presented as an open work with many interpretations – does it represent the reduction of our humanity to productive function and capitalism? Have we become petrified in the ever-churning wheel of capitalism and money?

3. Window Shopping

  1. For the entirety of George Town Festival, peek into the window of a beloved George Town cafe and see striking art looking back at you. We presented an open call for artists to submit their artwork to be featured as part of this project, meaning the display itself reflects the skill and creativity of all of George Town’s talented artists, scattered around the town that inspires them.

4. We Cannot Talk About It

A dark and gripping theatrical performance taking you through intense expressions of suppressed life. Tehran’s very own The Hole in the Wall Theater Group brings light to the subject of pain and melancholy, through silence, due to the existence of a dictator, in this Southeast Asian premiere.

5. Digital Waste: The Sweet Smell of Burning

Digital Waste: The Sweet Smell of Burning by Madhvee Deb highlights the behavioural issues of taking excessive photographs and a disproportionate exchange of worthless information on various social media platforms. Exploration of these behaviours lead to much deeper concerns such as living in the virtual world, instant gratification, detachment from emotionally meaningful relationships, and the hypnotic effect on a human mind.


For more information and programming details visit