Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tunku The Musical - Review

I was invited by a friend of mine who's working at The Star for the opening night premiere of Tunku the musical, written by the husband and wife team of Joe Hasham and Faridah Merican at the KLPAC near my house.

The story is literally a love story cum investigation set at the backdrop of the prominent period where the first prime minster was the late Tunku Abdul Rahman from Merdeka, the expulsion of Singapore from the federation on August 9 1965 until to the May 13 1969 riots.

The is little real-time drama and most of the action and words are compressed into the form of musical numbers. Interestingly though, the story spanning 13 years has been compressed into less than 2 hours of singing and dancing.

I noticed that the narrative progression is quite similar to Warren Beatty's Reds, which is a drama love story of Jack Reed and Louise Bryant set in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. After Merdeka, there has been a provocation of equity between the majority Malays and the bigger part of the minority - the Chinese which goes out of control which resulted in Singapore exiting the federation in 1965. The final half of the story is the aftermath of the expulsion in which the people chose the Opposition leading the government in 1970 where subsequent actions of certain groups led to the May 13 1969 riots.

Similarly, both the male protagonist, suffered grim ends at the end of the historical backdrop, just as Jack Reed suffering from Russian bureaucracy and typhus while Malik was killed by opposition party gangs.

I didn't know that my cousin was also part of the ensemble as well as those whom I met while watching the play Ah Steve back in March. I had not contacted my cousin since May and only met her after the show.

I was told by my friend that there would be a pre-show cocktail which dinner would be served. I get to meet a lot of celebrities and some prominent figures, including his boss - or the 'Big Sister' as he would call it, columnist Jagjeet Singh, PLUS chairman, department heads, celebrities like Jit Murad, Hannah Tan and of course Joe and Faridah.

At the end of the show, I stayed for a while and I met those whom I met previously including Johann Lim, Valerie Low, my cousin and of course Zamil Idris, whom I recognized as the host of Hello on Two. (RTM2's morning talk show). He's going back to the stage this week on Monday, Friday and Wednesday. I didn't guess he would be approached me first. I was talking to Johann first.

More pictures at the next post.

Below here, would be at pre-show, after show and maybe one or two more extra shots.

As of 7 p.m.

Pre-show cocktail party from first floor

After show - people leaving KLPAC

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