Tun Mahathir Season 2

Posted by kenchill. Categories Art, Event Coverage, Events, Featured

The Tun Mahathir musical has played earlier last year, but due to popular demand it was brought back for a second season at Istana Budaya. The second seasons runs from 21-30 January. Information on ticket prices and where to get them are accessible at the official website http://www.muzikaltunmahathir.blogspot.com/.

Anyway, the organizers were kind enough to give us some pretty excellent seats. The Panggung Sari at Istana Budaya isn’t very big and we had seats right in middle of the center aisle. Great view and we were also acoustically well positioned.

As for the show, it was on the whole pretty decent, but it fell short of my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed ourselves, and there were part of the show I really liked, however I felt that there were a few things that prevented it from being a much better show. But let’s start with the positives first.

Firstly, I really enjoyed the performance by the younger cast members. Those kids were amazing! This was right at the beginning of the play, when they were portraying Dr M’s childhood. They had pretty complicated lines and had to display a variety of emotions, but they pulled it off flawlessly. Sarimah Ibrahim’s eccentric character also was a crowd favourite – she had the audience in stitches everytime she came on the stage in her role as the narrator.

I had seen her on TV’s Biggest Loser Asia many times, but never in real life. I must say, she looks better in real life :) Misha Omar’s also did a good job playing a young Siti Hasmah (Dr M’s wife) and her singing is pretty damn amazing. The props used were impressive as well – at one point they had an entire boat on the stage and it could even move.

Another really great part about the entire production was that the producers chose to cast a lot of students from the local arts schools such as ASWARA and UiTM. I thought this was really commendable on their part as nurturing young talent is an integral process in advancing the local arts scene.

However, as I had mentioned earlier, there were a few things that bugged me. Top on the list is that there wasn’t a live orchestra playing and the certain parts of the singing were very clearly lip synced. C’mon! Musicals are meant to be performed in front of your very eyes, so that you can entirely feel the power/emotion of the piece. The play itself was also a bit too long.. including the interval, it was more than 3 hours long – so by the end it felt kinda draggy. I reckon some editing would make the entire show snappier.

I also have to question the decision of casting Jalaluddin Hassan and AC Mizan. While they’re both accomplished actors – they had such minor roles (around 5 minutes each) that it probably was not worth the money the producers paid for them. If they axed those two guys, they could either a) charge less for the tickets or b) afford an orchestra.

Anyway, overall it was a decent show. If you didn’t get to watch it this time, perhaps there will be a season 3. I heard season 1 did really well and that season 2 tickets were selling pretty fast. In any case, I do hope that there will be more and more Malaysian productions in the future, so keep at it guys! Thanks in advance!

*This week’s article was written by one of the co-founders of the site supaa_dry


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