Art, music, events and entertainment in Penang

As long as no MCO 3.0 is announced, all the events listed in this week's newsletter will go ahead. Generally speaking, if an event has to be postponed due to lockdown, tickets/reservations will be valid for the new future date. So please don't hold back, but support the artists, musicans and event organisers if you can!

This week there are new exhibitions at The Art Gallery, at Hin Bus Depot and online, more concerts, both live and virtual, and many more planned activities.

If you don’t already subscribe to receive the weekly email and would like to, please click here.

FILM - NOMADLAND, Hikayat, 226 Beach St, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 4th-8th May 6pm

Your chance to watch the Oscar winning film Nomadland here in Penang! Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.

Winner, Best Picture, Academy Awards
Winner, Best Director, Academy Awards
Winner, Best Actress, Academy Awards

Screening and refreshments: RM15. Register by email.

COOKING DEMONSTRATION - HEALTHY EATING, IWA Clubhouse, 6 Lorong Lembah Permai 5, Wednesday 5th May 10.30am

Learn how to make fermented red cabbage ginger kraut - providing probiotics for a healthy gut. RM 5 for IWA members, RM 10 for non-members. Register by email or whatsapp 016 850 2780.

GUIDED TOUR - MOONLIGHT MANSIONS MYSTERY TRISHAW RIDE, George Town, Wednesday 5th & Monday 10th May 7pm

Support the trishaw riders and enjoy a night-time trishaw ride around the mansions of George Town and end with a delicious dinner in a mystery mansion. Includes bonus special guest who will give you a potted history of the Esplanade and surrounding areas. 
RM160 per person to include trishaw ride (one trishaw per person) and dinner. Numbers limited. Vegetarian & other dietary options available. Email  or WhatsApp +60164570221 to book.

COMEDY - STAND-UP COMEDY OPEN MIC, 54 Jalan Chow Thye, Thursday 6th May 8pm

Penang’s stand-up comedians try out their new material. Drinks available for purchase. Doors open at 7.30pm. For more information check Facebook.


Chef Rohana demonstrates her special lamb curry and stir-fried water convolvulus. The recipe can be sent in advance so you can prepare to cook along if desired.

RM 25 (Free for Spice Family members). To register click here and scroll down the page.

FILM - CHUNGKING EXPRESS, The Screenery, 81 China St, Friday 7th May 7pm

A 1994 Hong Kong comedy-drama film written and directed by Wong Kar-wai. The film consists of two stories told in sequence, each about a lovesick Hong Kong

Free of charge, to book, join the private Facebook group here.

FILM - DIVINES, Alliance Française, Jalan Phua Hin Leong, Friday 7th May 7.30pm

A 2016 movie set in a housing estate in a Paris "banlieue":  It is the story of a friendship, of the struggles and rebellion of adolescent girls and their refusal to accept their fate as victims of their "milieu". A film that bristles with energy and verve, moving and exhilarating, and beautifully painting the complexities and conflicts of young women who have been failed by society.
English subtitles. Free of charge but seats limited so booking by email essential. Members of Alliance Française will be given priority. Call 04-227 60 08 or email to find out how to join.

SHOPPING - BOUTIQUES AT MUNTRI MEWS, 77 Lebuh Muntri, Friday 7th May 6th 4pm-7pm, Saturday 8th May 10am-4pm

Arts, crafts, jewellery, spices and more for sale. Admission Free - Credit cards accepted.


Ten monologues, ten lives and ten itching scars waiting to be scratched. ‘Tales from the Scars’ is a collection of ten intimate stories based on real life episodes, often buried within layers of complexities. It is a raw, forthright, funny and dead-serious addition to the well-known ‘Tales Series’ by writer/director Fa Abdul. Contact Desmond (+6016-4112459), or Jeevan (+6016-4718072) by May 7th to get the YouTube link. By donation of RM15 minimum.


Fa Abdul presents Tales From Amma’s Kitchen, a collection of humorous and heart-warming tales featuring a loveable Indian mother, her not so Indian children, a Chinese daughter-in-law-wannabe and an Indonesian maid next door who is more Malaysian than most Malaysians. Contact Desmond (+6016-4112459), or Jeevan (+6016-4718072) by May 7th to get the YouTube link. By donation of RM15 minimum.

WORKSHOP - LIPSTICK MAKING, Lan ArT, Midlands One Stop, Jalan Burmah, Saturday 8th & Tuesday 11th May 11am-1pm

Learn to make lipstick from natural ingredients and essential oils. RM 70 for 1 lipstick (RM 100 for non-IWA members) or RM 90 (RM 120) for 2. Phone 016 850 2780 or email to book.

WORKSHOP - THE ART OF MINDFUL WALKING, Tropical Spice Gardens, Teluk Bahang, Saturday 8th May 8am-9.15am

Learn therapeutic breathing and movement techniques, and practice mindful walking for stress-free living. RM 25 (Free for Spice Family members). To register click here and scroll down the page.

HORSE RACING, Penang Turf Club, Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th & Saturday 15th May 1pm onwards

Enjoy the racing in person in the air-conditioned viewing terrace of the grandstand. Dress code smart-casual. Betting optional! More details on the turf club’s website here. RM 26 per person.

TALK - THE MAKING OF “CLIMATE IS EVERYTHING”, Online, Saturday 8th May 2pm

An epic conversation with the artistic team behind the powerful TIME’s ‘Climate is Everything’ Cover. The panel will explore the story behind the magazine cover, the initial point of the conversations with TIME, thought process with the team, making of the work, coordinating and implementing the performance art. The session will conclude with a Q&A session from the audience. Register for the free of charge zoom session here.

COOKING WORKSHOP - NYONYA SPECIALITIES, Tropical Spice Gardens, Teluk Bahang, Sunday 9th May 10am-12.30pm

Nyonya specialities nasi kerabu and sago gula melaka will be demonstrated by Chef Jess during this hands-on, in person cooking class.  RM 170 (RM 136 for Spice Family members). To register click here and scroll down the page.

MUSIC - THE DRAMBAND, Healy Mac’s, Straits Quay, Sunday 9th May 7pm-9pm

The first live gig by Penang’s Irish band since the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in early March 2020. Free of charge, table reservation essential due to limited seating. Call 04 890 3477

MUSIC - PPO POP & JAZZ, Online, Friday 13th May 10am

The latest in the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra’s series of virtual concerts, this time featuring pop music and jazz, premieres on YouTube.

COOKING DEMO - HAINAN HERITAGE, The Edison Hotel, Leith Street, Saturday 15th May 10.30am-12.30pm

Explorie the history of the Hainanese and their influence on the cuisine of Malaysia (and Singapore). Visit the Hainan Association, learn recipe secrets (including Worcester sauce!) and watch a demonstration of "Choon piah", which will then be enjoyed for lunch at the Edison hotel. RM120 per person. RM200 per adult. RM125 child 9 & below. RM150 child 10 & above. Email or WhatsApp +60164570221 to book.

CHARITY DINNER - BOND IS BACK, Evergreen Laurel Hotel Ballroom, Saturday 15th May 6pm

Charity dinner and dance with a James Bond theme to raise funds for The Batu Grace Children’s Home. RM250 per person includes western buffet, free flow wine, beer & soft drinks, and dancing to DJ JuaKali. Plus raffles, auctions, and prizes.Tickets can be purchased via WhatsApp from Tiina 0176752645 or Gordon 01140736744. More details on Facebook.

WORKSHOP - CHINESE BRUSH PAINTING, Penang Heritage Trust, 26 Church St, Sunday 16th May 2pm-5pm

Learn traditional Chinese brush painting. PHT members RM 150, non-members RM 180. Limited to 10 participants. Book by email or phone 04 264 2631.

MUSIC - BRASILIAN AND MALAY SONGS, penangpac, Sunday 16th May 3pm

“An Afternoon of Songs in (Brazilian) Portuguese and Bahasa Melayu" features hits from favourite artists such as Siti Nurhaliza, Sheila Majid, Saloma, Dayang Nurfaizah, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Nara Leão, Luis Bonfa and more.  RM 60 tickets available for purchase here.

TALK - MAKING A MALAYSIAN WILL, Online and Cornwallis Suite, E&O Hotel, Monday 17th May 5pm-6.30pm

Lawyer Sam Choong in conversation about what one should consider in choosing a solicitor, what questions one should ask, who can act as an executor and whether one needs to make a will at all. RM40 per person to include tea, coffee/cookies. Email or WhatsApp +60164570221 to book. Also live on zoom - register here.

WORKSHOP - CANDLE MAKING, Lan ArT, Midlands One Stop, Jalan Burmah, Tuesday 18th May 11am

Learn to make candles from natural ingredients and essential oils. RM 130 (RM 150 for non-IWA members) includes 2 candles. Phone 016 850 2780 or email to book.

TALK - RUTHLESS: THE STORY OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY, Online and E&O Hotel, Tuesday 18th May 7.30pm-8.30pm

Penang-based author and international speaker, Keith Hockton, tells the compelling story of how The East India Company expanded from a group of adventurers who seized a Portuguese merchant ship in 1602 and ended up 200 years later with an army of 200,000 having seized an entire subcontinent. RM50 per person to include tea/coffee/cookies & talk. Email or WhatsApp +60164570221 to book. Also live on zoom - register here.

FILM - SHARASOYJU, Alliance Française, Jalan Phua Hin Leong, Friday 21st May 7.30pm

In picaresque Nara, Japan, summer awakens different emotions for teenagers Yu (Yuka Hyyoudo) and Shun (Kohei Fukungaga), though neither of them is happy. For the former, the season fails to bring about the excitement and anticipation of pending adulthood, thanks to the revelation that the woman who raised her is not her mother, but her aunt. While Yu is overwhelmed by the feeling she has been living a lie, Shun is reminded that his twin brother disappeared during a festival five summers ago. English subtitles.

Free of charge, booking essential by email. Members of Alliance Française will be given priority. Call 04-227 60 08 or email to find out how to join.

THEATRE - LEELA JHANSI, penangpac, Friday & Saturday 21st-22nd May 8.30pm, Sunday 23rd May 3pm

Leela Jhansi is a 13-year old who leads a happy and contented life in a remote village in India. The only ambition she and her grandmother share is to get her educated in order to secure a better future. Destiny, however, has ordained otherwise. When the richest man in the village, Damodaram proposes to marry Leela, promising wealth and a secured future, Leela’s father Palwankar begins to dream of riches – after all, why must he deprive his daughter of such an opportunity? 

Buy tickets (RM 40, 60, 80) here.

THEATRE - MANUSIA RAJA: AMUK, Online, Until May 21st

A monodrama written by Yusof Bakar and performed by
Wazir Bakri. The case of a rioter who was shot by police as seen through the eyes of different individuals.
In Malay with English surtitles. Contact Desmond (+6016-4112459), or Jeevan (+6016-4718072) by May 21st to get the YouTube link. By donation of RM15 minimum.

CHARITY - A RIDE OF HOPE, George Town, Saturdays 22nd May- 27th June 9am-12pm

Organised by Penangnites for Penangnites to raise funds for  the trishaw peddlers in Armenian Street, Prangin Mall and Penang Road.  RM 50 for an hour's ride around the Heritage trial in Georgetown. The trishaw peddlers are among the worst hit and least supported during the pandemic. Ride of Hope plans to get them at least RM00 per month from May to Aug 2021. Whatapps for tickets and info 0164426456

MUSIC - QUARTETS & QUINTETS, E&O Hotel Grand Ballroom, Sunday 6th June 5pm

The Penang Arts Council presents Quartets & Quintets from the Penang Symphony Orchestra, Musica Sinfonietta, the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra, the Elysian Ensemble and the Mazagran Singers for an afternoon of contemporary and classical chamber music.

RM 50 standard contribution plus RM 3 admin fee
RM 100 premium contribution plus RM 6 admin fee (VIP seating with free flow wine & beer, & canapés)

Drinks are available for purchase. A 30% discount in all the E&O’s F&B outlets is available for concert goers after the concert.

All SOPs will be observed and if the concert is postponed due to MCO tickets purchased will be valid for the new date.

To purchase tickets click here.


NASIR NADZIR IN REMEMBRANCE, The Art Gallery Penang, 4th Floor, Bellisa Row, 8th-23rd May, Fridays-Sundays 2pm-6pm or by appointment

A celebration of the too-short life of Penang artist Nasir Nadzir. For more details check Facebook.

REKA: CETAKAN, Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, 8th May - 6th June 12pm-7pm Daily

This special edition of REKA will highlight artists that employ traditional printmaking processes, as well as artists who move across disciplines, using "print" as their foundation, with an emphasis on investigative and exploratory ways of working with the printed image.

Participating artists:
Alaa Shasheet | Ch’ng Kiah Kiean | Choo Beng Teong | ERYN | Esther Geh | Farida Khan-Evans | Ignacio de Juana | Marianne Klerk | Pangrok Sulap | Ralph Kiggell | Sharon Chin | Sumidik | Syarifah Nadhirah | White Bones x Strays

For more information click here.

FADED, Soundmaker Studio, 1st Floor, 18 Bishop Street, Until May 20th, 1pm-7pm Daily

Group indie exhibition featuring Sliz, Kangblabla, Bibichun and others. Free of Charge. For more information checkFacebook.

I PAINT MUSIC, G Art Gallery, G Hotel, Until May 31st, 10am-10pm Daily

Internationally-recognised Penang-based artist Madeleine Ekeblad exhibits new works in enamel and pen and ink in her “I Paint Music” series, as well as her signature painted “lady in red” pieces. Free of Charge.

GROWTH, Viva Victoria, 169 Victoria St, Until June 15th, 12pm-11pm Daily

A solo exhibition of Love Lee Lily’s dot mandala artwork. Free of Charge.

BLACK, WHITE & SHADES OF GREY, ChinaHouse Upstairs, Ongoing, 12pm-10pm Daily

The Gilded Lion Antiques & Art Gallery‘s exhibitions of black and white and monochrome artwork. Check out the engravings, lithographs, aquatints, etchings, and other fine art formats dating all the way back to the 17th century on display. Free of Charge.

FINE PRINTS BY GILDED LION, E&O Hotel Art Gallery, Heritage Wing, Ongoing, 24 hours

The Gilded Lion Antiques & Art Gallery‘s exhibitions of carefully selected and curated fine prints. Check out the engravings, lithographs, aquatints, etchings, and other fine art formats dating all the way back to the 17th century on display. Free of Charge.

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.



Daily free Guided Walks to Penang Hill Visitors. For booking please call 016-4201189. More information on Facebook here.

NATURE - THE HABITAT, Penang Hill, Daily 8.30am-6.30pm

The Habitat rainforest discovery park on Penang Hill is open again. If you are interested in starlight camping, sunset walks, private events and tours of the park during this time, contact by email or at 019 645 7741. Park entrance fee RM 55 (RM 35 concessions).

NATURE - TROPICAL SPICE GARDEN, Teluk Bahang, Wed & Thurs 9am-4pm, Fri, Sat & Sun 9am-6pm

The Tropical Spice Garden has also re-opened after MCO. Enjoy 6 landscaped acres of a treasure trove of more than 500 living specimens of lush and exotic flora from around the world. Tickets cost RM20 adults (RM15 concessions) with a self guided audio tour available for RM 10. Guided tours available on request. For more information go to the website.

GUIDED TOUR - CHEONG FATT TZE MANSION, Lebuh Leith, Thurday-Sunday 11am and 2pm

Experience an important part of  Penang’s colourful history and one of its most iconic pieces of architecture on an insightful tour of its architecture and history.

RM 25 (RM 12.50 for children). Book tickets online here.

MUSIC & YOGA - BUDDHA BEAT YOGA, Soundmaker Studio, 18 Bishop Street, Every Sunday 10am & 4pm

Buddha Beat Yoga sessions are back! Try their unique solution to staying fit: Yoga + Live Music. We promise you an experience you won't forget. RM25 per session. RM80 for four sessions. Contact 012 423 2105 to register. Limited to 10 people per session. First session free of charge. More details on Facebook here.

OPEN MIC & PRO JAM, D'Loovi's, 24, Lebuh Melayu, Every Sunday 6pm-10pm

Budding singers, musicians, and indie artists take to the stage and jam. More details on Facebook.

TALK - THE REAL SKINNY ON FAT, IWA Clubhouse, 6 Lorong Lembah Permai 5, Every Monday 10.30am

Educational series of talks covering the latest information concerning healthy eating and weight reduction. Email to register a place. IWA members RM5, non-members RM 10.

PUB QUIZ, Healy Mac’s, Straits Quay, Every Monday 8pm

Traditional pub quiz, 4 per team, 4 per table, RM 5 per person to enter. More details here.

CROCHET CLASSES, IWA Clubhouse, 6 Lorong Lembah Permai 5, Every Tuesday 2.30pm

Learn to crochet. RM 10 per week (Non-IWA Members RM 20) plus cost of materials (crochet hook & yarn). Please phone for details 016 850 2780 or email .

COFFEE MORNING, IWA Clubhouse, 6 Lorong Lembah Permai 5, Every Wednesday 10.30am-12.30pm

Community support and friendship for Penang-items, expats and their families. Please phone for details 016 850 2780 or email .

NYONYA DANCE CLASSES, IWA Clubhouse, 6 Lorong Lembah Permai 5, Every Wednesday 3.30pm-5pm

Nyonya Dance Classes for beginners and more experienced dancers.  RM 40 per month. Please phone for details 016 850 2780 or email .

QIGONG & STRETCH, IWA Clubhouse, 6 Lorong Lembah Permai 5, Every Friday 9.30am

Learn the 8 qigong movement exercises of the '8 Pieces of Brocade', plus some excellent stretch exercises. RM5 for IWA Members, RM10 for Non Members. Please phone for details 016 850 2780 or email .

HIN MARKET, Hin Bus Depot, Jalan Gurdwara, Every Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm

The popular Hin Market is a weekly platform for entrepreneurs, small business owners, craftsmen, artisans, musicians, performers, and makers of all kinds to showcase their products, crafts, and talents.

Now open both Saturday and Sunday. More details on Facebook.

SEAFRONT MARKET, Hotel Mercure, Tanjong Bungah, Every Saturday 3pm-9pm

A new weekly seafront market for art, fashion and snacks from local vendors. For more details check Facebook

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.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up to the mailing list to receive Penang Free Sheet every week directly to your inbox.

Penang Free Sheet

Facebook Instagram