In a Malaysian hotel room, two climbing partners find their holiday threatens to become a jail term after they posted naked photos of themselves atop the sacred Mount Kinabalu. Our play, Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain, is touring after a sold-out run in Saskatoon. The show in Battleford is Friday, March 16, 8 p.m. at the Battleford Community Players Clubhouse.
Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain, is based on an incident from 2015 that audiences will remember: a group of young tourists stripped on top of a mountain in Borneo and posted Internet photos. When a massive earthquake shook the mountain a few days later, a government official claimed that their disrespect for the sacred mountain had caused the earthquake. The fictional treatment in the play, which runs 80 minutes without intermission, brings together Natalie, a Canadian woman who grew up Catholic; Masood, a Muslim deputy for tourism on the island of Borneo; and Owen, an Australian climber and video blogger. Owen’s self-centered values are driven by Internet viewers and likes on his blog.
This story about young adults disrespecting other cultures while traveling continues to be topical; Naked Tourist, Sacred Mountain examines this behaviour from multiple perspectives, but it’s also about faith, and about telling a good story with an underlying message of tolerance, accountability and reconciliation. There is no nudity and mild swearing in the play. At feedback sessions in Saskatoon, both Muslim and Christian audience members said they were engaged by the play and by the issues.