Art, music, events and entertainment in Penang

Penang starts go back to normal again this week. Hikayat's film screenings have resumed with a literary theme. There are Christmas bazaars for gift shopping. The Tropical Spice Garden hosts activities for children and adults. And you can look forward to two live Christmas Concerts coming up later in the month. Tickets are on sale for both now! 

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FILM - THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday December 8th, 9th & 10th 6pm

The Personal History of David Copperfield reimagines Charles Dickens’s classic ode to grit and perseverance – giving the tale new life for a cosmopolitan age – and revisiting an iconic hero on his quirky journey from impoverished orphan to burgeoning writer in Victorian England.

Winner, Best Feature Film, Boulder International Film Festival
Winner, Best Screenplay, British Independent Film Awards

Screening and refreshments RM15.

Booking here essential.

TALK - LUNG CANCER SCREENING, Online, Wednesday December 9th 3pm

Lung cancer accounts for the highest number of cancer deaths globally. Learn about the types of lung cancer, the symptoms and risk factors and how to prevent lung cancer with Consultant Clinical Oncologist Dr Cheah. Watch free of charge on Facebook live here.

FREEDOM FILM FESTIVAL, Online, Thursday-Sunday December 10th-13th

Freedom Film Festival offers the latest award-winning films from around the world, with conversations around films through discussion panels, workshops, masterclasses, and audience interactions to bring together the social activist and film going communities in Malaysia. This year the theme is RACE : HUMAN, with folk grant winners exploring ideas of race, creed, colour, migrant, refugee and the systemic injustices faced by those defined as other.

For more information on the programme click here. The festival will run online via the streaming platform CloudTheatre. Tickets and screening dates will be available from December 1, 2020 on their website here.

DANCE, PHOTOGRAPHY & POTTERY MORNING - RAYS OF HOPE, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Saturday 12th December, 8am-1pm

A morning of coffee under the trees, with a dance performance to watch and mini-workshops to learn pottery and making a Christmas Wreath. Normal entrance fee applies (RM20 adults / RM15 seniors and students / RM15 children / RM50 family of 4) and small additional charges for some activities. For more information and to register click here and scroll down the page.

CHRISTMAS CHARITY BAZAAR, 1st Avenue Mall, Saturday & Sunday December 12th & 13th, 10am-10pm

Over 20 tables allocated to local charities and NGOs, plus many commercial vendors.Set in a huge area, on the 8th floor of the mall, with social distancing and SOPs applied.  For further detail & info please email

COOKING WORKSHOP - MEDITERRANEAN GALORE, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Saturday 12th December, 10am-1pm

Learn how to make Mediterranean-style Oven Grilled Chicken, Cherry Tomato & Olive Pasta, and Outrageous Herbaceous Mediterranean Beans Salad. RM 136 per person for Spice Family members (non-SF: RM170). To register click here and scroll down the page.

TALK - LIFE OF LANGURS & DUSKIES, Online, Saturday 12th December, 11am-12pm

An interactive virtual programme bringing you into the life of Langurs and Duskies through your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Learnabout the interesting facts of the dusky langurs, through family group activities and fun interaction with Dusky Jie Jie & Uncle Teo.  RM 30 per family, ONE device only (can be multiple family members, in front of ONE device) - MYR15 per person only (to those who plan to attend alone) Register here.

TALK - LIVING WITH COVID-19, Online, Saturday December 12th 2pm

The protracted and global nature of the Covid-19 pandemic is having repercussions on daily life—and on international affairs - in ways that no one could have predicted. The 1918 flu pandemic lasted for exactly two years, and this appears to be a reasonable timeline for any plans concerning Covid-19 today.

So how are we to survive Covid-19?

Penang Institute, with three medical doctors, and one of Penang’s most innovative social activists, will contribute to this discussion.

To register for the free webinar click here.

PUPPET THEATRE - A MEETING WITH POTEHI, Online, Saturdays & Sundays December 12th, 13th, 18th, 19th & 20th 2pm

Lean more about Penang Potehi by watching this locally produced film screening live on the Show Penang Facebook page here.

TALK - RESTORING STADIUM MERDEKA, Online, Saturday 12th December, 4pm

Professor Architect Laurence Loh shares the inside story behind the highly successful restoration of Stadium Merdeka and describes the conversations that led up to the execution of one of Malaysia’s most important conservation projects undertaken to date, and which received an Award of Excellence from UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage. Free of charge. To register click here.

Whether you are looking for an individualised training programme for yourself or need a personal coach to keep you accountable for achieving your fitness goals, the Warrior Personal Coaching programme may just be for you. Train in-person with our Warrior Coach, or now remotely with via Zoom if you are not in Penang or Kota Kinabalu.

For more details WhatsAppCoach Jee at +6012-457 8850 or drop us an email.

FILM - THIS IS SPINAL TAP, The Screenery, 81 Lebuh China, Saturday 12th December 7pm-10pm

Cult 1984 American mockumentary film about a fictional English heavy metal band Spinal Tap (who are characterized as "one of England's loudest bands") on their American tour. The film satirizes the behavior and musical pretensions of rock bands and was released to critical acclaim.

Join the private Facebook group here for more information. For the present all film screenings are free of charge.

WELLNESS WORKSHOP - NAVIGATING STRESS IN THE NEW NORMAL, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Sunday 13th December, 8am-12pm

Led by Gwen of Muddy Lotus Wellness, the workshop starts with mindful movement and breath work to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system followed by a presentation about stress and tips on how to support your well-being to optimise the immune system. There is also an opportunity to experience a Tibetan Singing Bowl with Han How after a quick presentation on the science behind sound therapy. A plant based, nutrient packed breakfast will be served after the movement session. Spice Family members RM180 (non-SF: RM210)

For further details and registration, please contact Gwen at 016-5056253 or by email.

GUIDED WALK - THE MONIOT TRAIL, Penang Hill, Sunday 13th December, 8am-11am

The 3km trail is 600m above sea level and runs between a forest reserve and private land. It is named after the man who surveyed the area, Jules M Moniot. An ultimate experience for those wish to walk along this unique but forgotten Moniot trail. Many hidden treasure found along the trail. A trail for unique floral & fauna of million years Rainforest.

RM 50 per person, meet at the Dataran, Penang Hill. Register 016-4201189. More information on Facebook here.

HEALTH & WELFARE - WAIT PAUSE, Online, Until December 12th

A social media campaign for the mental and physical well being of the online community of young people in Malaysia during the pandemic, with posts and activities to help with physical health, mental well-being and social welfare. Find out more on Facebook here and Instagram here.

There will be a webinar on Saturday December 12th at 8pm entitled  'Combating Burnout: How to Overcome Physical and Mental Exhaustion'. register for the free of charge webinar here.

CHILDREN'S WORKSHOPS - GARDEN ADVENTURE, Tropical Spice Garden, Teluk Bahang, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 15th, 16th & 17th December, 9.30am-1.30pm

A morning of garden adventures, crafts & play for children aged 6-10 years old. Maximum 10 per day. RM 40 per person for Spice Family members (non-SF: RM600). To register click here and scroll down the page.

FOOD & BEVERAGE - IWA CHRISTMAS DINNER, Penang Club, Wednesday December 16th 7pm

Be entertained by RAY ROZELLS while enjoying Christmas dinner and cheap drinks.  Numbers attending will be limited so please register by email. Cost per person includes dinner, entertainment and 5 raffle tickets per person. IWA MEMBERS: RM125.00. NON-MEMBERS: RM150.00

MANSIONS BY MOONLIGHT - TRISHAW RIDE & DINNER, George Town, Wednesday 16th December, 7pm

A moonlight trishaw ride around the mansions of George Town with delicious dinner in a mystery mansion, and a Special Guest to bring the scene to life. 1 person per trishaw.
RM160 per person - to include trishaw ride & dinner. Numbers limited. Email or WhatsApp +60164570221 to reserve your space

SUPER STYLISH CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUES, Muntri Mews, Muntri Street, Friday 18th December 4pm-7pm & Saturday 19th December 120am-4pm

A socially-distanced Christmas Shopping event with pop-up boutiques for  vendors from Penang, KL & elsewhere.
Admission free - everyone welcome - credit cards accepted.

MUSIC - FAMILY CHRISTMAS CONCERT, penangpac, Friday & Saturday December 18th & 19th 8pm

The Actors Studio Chorus & Orchestra perform Christmas carols and other well known Christmas tunes, and Santa will make a socially-distanced appearance this year too. Tickets RM 45 (RM 35 concessions) can be purchased at the penangpac box office or online here.

THEATRE - TWISTED penangpac, Friday & Saturday December 25th & 26th 8pm, Saturday & Sunday 3pm

An unusual Christmas story in which well-known characters from different fairy tales are intertwined into a new plot, giving the stories and the characters a contemporary twist. Tickets RM 35 can be purchased at the penangpac box office or online here.

MUSIC - CHRISTMAS CLASSICS & FESTIVE FAVOURITES, The E&O Hotel, Sunday December 27th 5pm-7pm

Member of the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra present a soirée of chamber music with a Christmas and New Year theme. Tickets are RM 53 per person, RM 106 for premium seating (balcony seats with free flow beer & wine, & canapés) and can be purchased online here. Stay after the concert and enjoy a 35% discount in all the E&O F&B outlets.


BOXED IN, Online & Hin Bus Depot, 31 a Jalan Gurdwara,l December 12th- 31st

A group exhibition curated by Ivan Gabriel, originally scheduled to begin just as CMCO was announced. BOXED IN (one foot at a time) pulls in a group of Penang based visual artists from various backgrounds and art practices. Each participating artist was given two 12’ x 12’ wooden boxes and set off to let their creative imaginations run wild. The only catch was for them to “think outside the box” whilst having the artworks within the box itself.

The exhibition will proceed in stages; kicking off with an online exhibition that will take place in the whole month of December 2020, and the physical exhibition at Hin Bus Depot will begin on December 12th, open daily 12pm-7pm. You can view the exhibition online 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.

STILL BY SHARON KOW, G Art Gallery, G Hotel, Until December 21st

Renowned local self-taught pencil artist Sharon Kow Siew Suan presents Still, a series of artworks that depict a state of mental quietude. Sharon believes that “Stillness speaks”, as we take time to be still and to quiet the mind, we can achieve a clear introspection of our thoughts and emotions. Her artworks are intricately illustrated using just colour pencils.

Free of charge, open 24 hours (G Hotel mezzanine floor)

THE THREAD OF LIFE, EXHIBITION BY DAYANG ArtSpace, ChinaHouse, Beach St, Until December 31st

Old pictures tend to trigger nostalgia. The pictures used for the thread of life exhibition are negatives taken in 1936 in various places in Asia and the Middle East. Dayang has enriched these black and white images to combine these stories of the past with her perception of life. Experiences  ‘gathered’ are like dots and life is the line that connects them. Dayang has added colourful threads as her vision of how the past intertwines with the present.

Dayang Salim is a Singaporean artist and designer who is residing in Kuala Lumpur. Her work has been exhibited in China, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Belgium and Hong Kong. Her works focus mainly on different cultures and experiences of living abroad.

The ArtSpace at ChinaHouse is open from 10am until 10pm daily.


FITNESS - JANCING, Location varies within Timur Laut, Fridays 6pm

For people who hate jogging, love dancing and want to have fun while keeping fit. Free of charge. Numbers limited. What’sapp Lusy to register: 011 2430 8874 

BUDDHA BEAT YOGA, Soundmaker Studio, 18 Lebuh Bishop, Sundays, 10am-12pm and 4pm-6pm

Flow with light-repetitive sets yoga, serenaded by the meditative live rhythms of Buddha Beat. Book through Facebook Messaging or Whatsapp 017-4287327. Limited to 12 people per session.
Bring your own mat.
First session for free. Otherwise RM25 per session or RM80 per month  for 4 sessions).

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.

GUIDED TOUR OF CHEONG FATT TZE BLUE MANSION, Lebuh Leith, Thursday-Sunday 11am & 2pm

A 45-minute guided tour through the history of the spectacular UNESCO award-winning mansion, revealing stories of its original owner and extended family, and of the house’s design philosophy and stunning architecture.

RM 25 for adults, RM 12.50 for children. Tickets can be purchased online here.

HERITAGE TOURS AND WORKSHOPS, George Town, By Prior Arrangement

Learn more about George Town’s history and heritage with the Penang Heritage Trust’s walks and workshops. Email for more information and to arrange a date, minimum 3 working days in advance for walks and 1-2 weeks for workshops..

Walks: (3 hours, RM160/pax for 2 pax, RM130/pax for 3 pax & above)

Trail A: Street of Harmony & Clan Jetties

Trail B: Colonial District & Little India

Joss Stick making workshop (RM400/pax, including materials) - 3 hours, 6-8 pax,

Rattan weaving workshop (RM180/pax including materials) - 3 hours, 4 - 6 pax,

Beaded bracelet making workshop (RM100/pax for PHT members, RM130/pax for non-PHT members) - 2.5 hours, Min. 8 - 10 pax

SUNSET WALK, The Habitat, Penang Hill, Daily 5.30pm

The Habitat Penang Hill Sunset Walk is available during CMCO for group bookings only (maximum 10 people). Watch the sunset from Curtis Crest, the highest point in Penang, and enjoy a guided walk with a guide to point out the nocturnal jungle life to you, RM 95 per adult and RM 65 per child for a guided tour. email to book.

OPEN MIC & PRO JAM, D’Loovi’s, 24 Lebuh Melayu, Sundays 6pm-10pm

A rare opportunity to watch live music in person during the pandemic and for budding singers, musicians and indie artists to perform in public. Bring your own instrument if you wish to play. More information here.

FUN - PUB QUIZ, Healy Mac’s, Straits Quay, Every Monday 8pm-9.30pm

Weekly socially-distanced pub quiz, maximum 4 to a team, RM 5 per person. More details here

FITNESS - TABATA, Online, Every Wednesday 5pm

Tabata is an interval style workout where you push yourself as hard as you can for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. A great way to improve muscular endurance as well as cardiovascular.

Free of charge, to join this workout, click here.

MEDITATION CLASSES, Online, By appointment

Learn to mediate 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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