‘Ola Bola’ to kick-off as a mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion next year, writes AREF OMAR

New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

THE movie based on the in­spir­ing story of the Malaysian na­tional foot­ball team that qual­i­fied for the 1980 Sum­mer Olympics will be adapted to stage by Puan Sri Tiara Jac­quelina’s pro­duc­tion com­pany En­finiti.

The award-win­ning pro­ducer, ac­tress and arts ad­vo­cate will also di­rect the project.

Tiara, 49, is aim­ing for a suc­cess­ful hat-trick af­ter helm­ing a sea­son of Malaysia’s long­est-run­ning theatre pro­duc­tion, Mud: The Story Of Kuala Lumpur, and the Min­istry of Tourism and Cul­ture’s Ci­trawarna 2015 ex­trav­a­ganza.

“It’s a story of ded­i­ca­tion, per­se­ver­ance and grit that needs to be shared again and again to in­spire new au­di­ences,” she said.

Set to run at Is­tana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur from Feb 22 to March 22 next year, the mu­si­cal will be the first pro­duc­tion to be staged at the pres­ti­gious venue af­ter the com­ple­tion of its ren­o­va­tion works.

“I feel that this story has so much po­ten­tial and con­tains all the right ingredients to make a good mu­si­cal,” said Tiara, who got the idea af­ter watch­ing Ola Bola twice in the cinema.

Tiara said the cre­ative team would con­sist of ac­claimed mu­sic di­rec­tor Sai­ful Ridzuan and award-win­ning set de­signer Raja Malek.

“We’ll also have first-time col­lab­o­ra­tions with two award-win­ning tal­ents in their fields, com­poser and lyri­cist Mia Pa­len­cia, and rap­per and lyri­cist Al­timet.”

With the aim of pre­sent­ing a fresh and cur­rent sound for the mu­si­cal, she said some of the mu­sic would be per­formed in the rap and hip-hop gen­res.

“Ac­tress, writer, di­rec­tor and come­di­enne Shamaine Oth­man will be my co-writer,” said Tiara, who has been in the en­ter­tain­ment scene since the 1980s.

Tiara, whose name has be­come syn­ony­mous with suc­cess­ful mu­si­cal pro­duc­tions like Pu­teri Gu­nung Ledang (2006) and P. Ram­lee (2007) that have en­joyed mul­ti­ple stag­ings, said: “My big­gest chal­lenge now is to recre­ate that mag­i­cal mo­ment where 50,000 peo­ple cheered on for our foot­ballers in the sta­dium live on stage.”

“We’re aim­ing to trans­port the au­di­ence to that era with an im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ence of that match.”

Tiara said she would lead the cre­ative team in a work­shop soon to get things rolling for the pro­duc­tion, her big­gest to date.

“Au­di­tions will start af­ter that and we’ll look for the most suit­able peo­ple to play these phys­i­cally and men­tally de­mand­ing roles,” she said.

Re­leased early last year, the Chiu Keng Guan-di­rected Ola Bola earned RM16.5 mil­lion at the box of­fice, mak­ing it one of the high­est gross­ing lo­cal films to date.

“A big thank you to our part­ners Astro Shaw, Golden Screen Cin­e­mas and Multimedia En­ter­tain­ment (the film’s ex­ec­u­tive pro­duc­ers) for en­trust­ing En­finiti to adapt Ola Bola for the stage,” said Tiara.

“It’s go­ing to be a ground­break­ing pro­duc­tion and bench­mark for fu­ture shows in Malaysia. Hope­fully we can also in­spire the coun­try along the way.”

Tick­ets, priced be­tween RM250 and RM300, can be ob­tained for RM120 via the Ola Bola The Mu­si­cal Early Bird of­fer.

This pro­mo­tion will run for three months start­ing from May 25. For more de­tails, visit www. olabo­la­mu­si­cal.com


Puan Sri Tiara Jac­quelina (cen­tre) at the launch of ‘Ola Bola The Mu­si­cal’ in Kuala Lumpur re­cently.

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