Art, music, events and entertainment in Penang

The George Town Festival opens this weekend, with an interesting line-up of online art, theatre and music events happening over the following ten days. Also check out the latest script reading session at penangpac, cooking classes, and a new weekly virtual sketch walk. And please don't forget to register your interest for the live guided virtual tour of the Medici exhibition in New York. 

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VIRTUAL TOUR - THE MEDICI AT THE NEW YORK MET, Online, Date to be confirmed, 10pm

“The sweep of Italian history and art history in dazzling portraits from the Medici dynasty’s final hurrah, on view in a sumptuous exhibition at the Met.” —The New York Times

A Virtual Tour with a difference - A live private virtual tour of the Medici Exhibition at New York’s Met Museum. Would you be interested? It would be at 10am New York time, so 10pm Malaysia time - date to be confirmed. RM60 per person - a minimum of 20 people is needed for the tour to go ahead. Please message +60164570221 or email with the subject “Medici Tour” to register your interest and we will coordinate a date. To learn more about the exhibition click here.

BOOK GROUP - A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, Online, Wednesday 7th July 7.30pm

Meeting delayed by 2 weeks to give you more time to read the book! Join a friendly online group to discuss 'A Gentleman in Moscow' by Amor Towles. 

The story of Count Alexander Rostov who in 1922 is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Direct message here for more details.

MUSIC - CLASSIC ROCKS, Online, Wednesday 7th July 7.30pm-9pm

Bentley Music Academy KL explores the influence of classical music on rock music over the past sixty years, or so.Top of the list: Metallica, Queen, Iron Maiden & Daniel Balavoine… there’ll be some Deep Purple/ Jon Lord and Emerson, Lake and Palmer in there too. Email ‘HANGOUT’  to register for the Zoom meeting.

TALK - CREATING IMPACT WITH DESIGN, Online, Thursday 8th July 8pm

Speaker Nicolas Dali is a French art director, designer and founding partner of KUOZ design studio, Bangkok. From brand identity and digital design work to packaging, editorial, and even motion graphics, he has worked for the World Bank, United Nations, Red Cross, MTV, Yellow Pages and Accor Hotels. His work has been published in several design magazines and on websites. Nicolas is also a co-founder of the BUKRUK Festival, an international urban arts event held in Bangkok. Register for this free of charge session here.

MUSIC WORKSHOP - JAZZ STUDIES, Online, Friday 9th July 8pm

Learn from veteran jazz pianist Michael Veerapen, who has been at the forefront of Malaysia’s jazz scene since the 1970s. Bop & Beyond. RM 75 per zoom session. Contact Jerome on +60164448383 to register and for more information.

MUSIC - PAATU PADAVA, Online, Friday 9th July 8.30pm

Chelvi, Jayan, Jeevanraj and Kaushalya, four local talents will rockthe Tamil virtual stage for an evening full of wonderful melodies, old and new. Free of charge on Facebook live here. A fundraiser for penangpac. Join First. Donate Later.

TALK - THE ART OF NOT TAKING SORROW, Online, Saturday 10th July 5pm

A talk by Jothi Rajah, experienced meditation teacher and speaker for almost 40 years. Join the free of charge zoom call here.

ART - LIGHTS ON, Online, Saturday 10th July 8pm

The premiere of George Town Festival 2021 in which a micro version of George Town will be turned into a story-telling virtual projection installation and display of colours, lights and sounds. Free of charge on Facebook live here.

MUSIC - IMMERSE, Online, Saturday 10th - Sunday 18th July 8pm

3 local musicians living in 3 separate countries will be brought together virtually to perform pieces from the different styles and periods of Chinese orchestra music in “Immerse”. Chow Jun Yi (New York), Tan Yong Yaw (Malacca), and Raymond Choo Boon Yew (Macau) play traditional Chinese instruments encompassing traditional and contemporary Chinese music, plus the Chinese music culture in Malaysia. For more information and to purchase tickets click here. RM 30.

THEATRE - BODY X THE CULPRIT, Online, Saturday 10th - Sunday 18th July 8pm

A unique digital theatre production that allows you to be involved in the solving of a murder-mystery and experience it as if you are physically present. Shot entirely on a mobile phone, the show requires you to observe evidence, watch the crime scene as it happens, discuss with other fellow investigators online and vote for the murderer. Presented on Zoom. In Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles. Buy tickets (RM 90) here.

THEATRE - OH MALAYSIANS!, Online, Saturday 10th July 8.30pm

Everyone had a blast last week when penangpac organised a script reading session, and we are happy they are doing it again! Join for a 20-minute script reading session "Oh Malaysians" featuring Lawrence Chin (the Chinese dude), Nicholas Pereira (the Indian dude) and Ahmad Danial (the Malay dude). It will be followed by a Q&A session. Free of charge on Facebook live here. A fundraiser for penangpac. Join First. Donate Later.

WORKSHOP - KEEPING MALAYSIAN FOLKTALES ALIVE, Online, Sundays 11th, 18th & 25th July 10am-11.30am

Daphne Lee is running a 3-week online writing class: "Tales for the Telling: Keeping Malaysian Folktales Alive". Participants are expected to work on their writing in their own time so that the class is about sharing, critique and discussion. Fee: RM150 for the whole course (4.5 hours in total, plus a separate one-on-one session). Email for more info or to register.

FILM - IMMERSE, Online, Sunday 11th July 3pm

See the world through the eyes of a blind woman, take a walk in the shoes of a wheelchair user, and learn how disability brings new perspectives to artmaking in “Perspectives”, a disability-led film directed by Peggy Ferroa and Michael Chua. Part documentary, part theatrical monologue, “Perspectives” is an independent project which explores the lives of Singaporeans with disabilities, told through music, monologues and works of art. The docudrama screening will be followed by a discussion featuring the performers and the director Peggy Ferroa. For more information and to register click here. Free of charge.


Chef Tarina is back in the kitchen to show you how to make Satay Babi paired with Glass Noodle Kerabu. The recipe can be sent in advance so you can prepare to cook along if you wish. RM 25 (free for Tropical Spice Family members). Click here and scroll down to book.

TALK - LIGHTS ON, Online, Monday 12th July 8pm

A sharing session with the artists behind Saturday’s “Lights On”. They will discuss their backgrounds in creating micro projection mapping designs, their challenges, and how they overcame the obstacles to produce this final work. Free of charge. Registration is required - click here.

VIDEO ART - DOWN THE MELTING POT, Online, Tuesday 13th July 8pm-10pm

Drawing upon the associations between people, culture and place, and relating it to the concept of a hot pot cuisine, “Down the Melting Pot” will bring audiences into an intercultural journey through the perspectives of young contemporary artists, A varied selection of moving images from around the world, including experimental shorts, video art, animation and performance artts reflects the varied concerns of young contemporary artists around the world today. For more information and to register click here. Free of charge.


Feeling Blah Right Now? You Are Not Alone. Studies suggest the pressure of these Covid times has caused a shift in many people, from a state of flourishing to this unwelcome state of languishing. In this 45-minute webinar, performance coach, Gail Gibson, will talk about the impact of languishing based on the findings she has explored.

Takeaways from the session include:

  • Insight into the science behind languishing
  • A reality check on what it is like to languish
  • How a shift in mindset is the starting point to ignite a return to flourishing.

Free of charge. To register for the zoom link click here.

FILM - G-SHORT FINALISTS, Online, Wednesday 14th - Friday 16th July 8pm

G-Short is a short film festival held as part of the George Town Festival 2021 to celebrate the endless imagination and possibilities a 90-second short film can bring about. Themed “Reimagine: A New Way of Seeing”, with the tagline “Short Yet Powerful”, G-Short was conceived to encourage the local and international film communities to create short-form and original films, unleashing their creativity, originality and innovation to tell stories in new ways – all while strengthening the branding of the George Town Festival. The film screenings feature the works of 30 finalists from different countries.

. For more information and to register click here. Free of charge.

CHILDREN’S THEATRE - ONCE UPON A TIME, Online, Until Wednesday 14th July

The Performing Arts Centre of Penang (penangpac) presents the first installment of a 5 part production of Malaysian Folklore, Legends and Tales series in 2021 called "Once Upon a Time..." In part 1, Badang The Magnificent is a story about a slave who wished for superhuman strength after meeting a mystical creature. Si Tanggang: The Ungrateful Son is the tale of a poor boy with only one dream – to become rich. Available to watch on YouTube until July 14th. Get your link by WhatsApp 016 471 8072 for RM20.

The performances are entirely in English except for the traditional Malay dance scenes which feature popular Malay tunes.


Do you regularly wish for more hours in the day? Do you find yourself chasing your tail, never really finishing what you planned to do? This talk is about how to magically create more hours in your day, teaching you the secrets to true productivity. We will also discuss how to avoid the common pitfalls - how not to get derailed by unimportant distractions. For more details about the speakers and to watch free of charge on Facebook live click here.

THEATRE - HAVE/HAD, Online, 14th July - 14th August

Have/Had is a thought provoking theatrical experience about the concept of truth and lies, reality and fantasy, where we often find ourselves trapped in. It addresses vital questions that all of us can relate to. When we find ourselves entangled in a web of lies, will we follow our rational mind or our emotions? When confronted by reality, will we tell the truth or will we choose to lie?If to lie is how we survive life, does truth even matter?

RM20 to watch, send Jeevan a WhatsApp text message at 016 471 8072 for the YouTube link.

TALK - MEET THE AUTHOR: CATHERINE MONNET, Online, Thursday 15th July 3pm

Catherine Monnet, author of “At Sea With a Song” divides her time between Paris and Koh Samui - which is the setting for this love story, loosely based on the experiences of her son who is a musician and felll in love with a Thai lady. Free of charge. Register for the zoom meeting here.

THEATRE - IMAGINARIUM, Online, Thursday 15th - Sunday 18th July 9pm

Out of the Blue Theatre invites you to discover a whole new imaginative universe within your bedroom in “IMAGINARIUM”, an audio-immersive theatrical experience. In this entertaining and cathartic audio-immersive experience, “IMAGINARIUM” acknowledges the limitations lockdowns have imposed on the theatre industry and people’s lives. So escape the confines of your space and follow us into the impossible. It is time to step out of your comfort zone and break out of the ordinary. Welcome to the “IMAGINARIUM”! Thursday & Saturday in English, Friday & Sunday in Mandarin.

For more information and to buy tickets click here. RM 30.

EDUCATION - MEET THE HEAD OF UPLANDS PRIMARY, Online, Saturday & Sunday 17th & 18th July 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm

Prospective Primary parents can meet the Uplands (The International School of Penang) Head of Primary, Jacqueline North, and have a 10 minute personal conversation with her about their child/ren, asking any questions about enrolling at Uplands Primary (age 4 to 11 years old) and joining the Uplands community. Register for an appointment here.

TALKS - PROFESSIONAL FILMMAKERS, Online, Saturday 17th July 2pm & 4pm

Professional filmmakers this July discuss【The Theme of Reimagine: Storytelling in Motion】at 2pm, and【The Tools to Reimagine: Lights, Sound, Action】at 4pm. Both talks are free of charge over Zoom. Pre-registration is required here.

TALK - CONTRIBUTIONS OF MALAY CULTURE, Online, Saturday 17th July 3pm

Prof. Dato Seri Dr. Md Salleh Yaapar, Professor of Comparative Literature at the School of Humanities at USM presents “Contributions of Malay Wisdom to Cultural Developments in China, Madagascar and France” Free of charge on Facebook live here.

ART WORKSHOP - STEP BY STEP, Online, Saturday & Sunday 17th & 18th July 8pm

Learn to draw Penang’s heritage on a tote bag. Artists Leong Wai Khong (17th) and Lefty Julian (18th) will be guiding participants to create their own doodles and drawings on the George Town Festival tote bag. The workshops will be on Zoom with a fee of RM30 for each. The fee is inclusive of the tote bag, colouring materials, and shipping cost. Buy tickets here.

COMEDY - CROSS BORDER COMEDY, Online, Saturday 17th July 8pm-9.30pm

A line up of stand up comedians from the US, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and more. Watch free of charge on Facebook live here.


Chef Tarina’s craving for a homemade hawker feast and is back in the kitchen to show you how to make Char Koay Teow, Bachelor’s Chicken Curry and Ais Tingkap. The recipe can be sent in advance so you can prepare to cook along if you wish. RM 25 (free for Tropical Spice Family members). Click here and scroll down to book.

THEATRE - ENTROPY, Online, Until 31st July

“Most of life is hell. It's filled with failure and loss. People disappoint you. Dreams get shattered. Hearts get broken. Innocent people die. The life we want - we will never get. The truth is, we are for the most part of our lives, unconscious of our misery. What if you have the chance to make things right - will you take it? What if the only right thing to do... is the wrong thing? ENTROPY. Part Mystery. Part Thriller. Part Revenge.” Featuring: Nicholas Pereira & Lawrence Chin, Writer/Director: Fa Abdul

To watch the online premiere WhatsApp Jeevan 016-471 8072 for tickets (RM 15)


KECIK-KECIK GROUP SHOW 2021, Online, Until August 31st

Kecik-Kecik Group Show returns for its 2021 edition with over 50 participating artists!

Penang Art District once again collaborates with Hin Bus Depot to bring Malaysian contemporary art to a wider audience by introducing a wide variety of affordable contemporary pieces to grow a strong culture of collecting Malaysian art.

In light of the periodic Movement Control Order, this year, Kecik-Kecik will be conducted online for accessibility while keeping it safe for all artists and collectors.

View the exhibition here.

WATERCOLOUR ART AUCTION, Online, First & Third Week of the Month

An online exhibition venue For the paintings of the members of the Penang Water Colour Society. All are welcome to join the Facebook group here to view and purchase artworks, and participate in the twice monthly online auction.


WEEKLY SKETCH WALK, Online, Tuesdays 9am-11am

Join a group of sketchers and painters online. Each week there will be photos of a different venue and you choose one of them to sketch or paint. At the end at group photo over zoom will be taken of everyone with their work. Free of charge to join, please WhatsApp 0124308111 for the zoom details.


Commit to your wellness with other women, by sharing your wake up time and completed health habits each morning on Whatsapp. Aims to bring inner peace, control & consistency to the start of your day. Join the group here      or WhatsApp 019 316 6040.

SUNDAY SOUL SESSION, Online, Every Sunday 5pm-7pm

DJ Carl Hinds invites you every Sunday for a late afternoon dose of two hours of chilled soul music. The stream starts at 5pm through mixcloud here.

MEDITATION CLASSES, Online, By appointment

Learn to meditate for peace, calm and inner strength. Classes via zoom, at no cost. For more details and to sign up WhatsApp Helen 013 430 1229.

A community service of Brahma Kumaris Penang.


Due to Covid-19 the meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous are temporarily suspended.  Instead, the Penang AA Group have scheduled several online meetings accessible via Zoom.  If you would like more information about the AA Penang online meetings, please call 011 512 31396.

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