More magic to the mythical princess
IN an effort to add more magic to Puteri
Gunung Ledang: The Musical (PGLM), the
upcoming third season of the show will
include spectacular illusions and special
The musical, set during Malacca's golden
era, is the story of the legendary love of
heroic warrior Hang Tuah and the mythical
princess of Gunung Ledang.
With a skilled illusionist on board, the
mystical and spiritual aspects of the show
will be played up, injecting sparkle and wonder into the much-loved musical. Through
these effects, characters like the Bayan (the
princess' nanny), who has mystical powers in
the story, are made to appear like they are
really performing magic.
The cast was certainly thrilled about this
new treat for their fans. Director Datuk
Zahim Albakri feels that the theme of PGLM
lends itself perfectly to these "magical"
touches: "The special effects are not there
simply for the sake of being there; they serve
the story and enhance it. We want to the
audience to be wowed, to watch our show
and wonder, 'How did they do that?'" he said
during a recent press conference to
announce the changes.
Datin 5eri Tiara Jacquelina, who reprises
her role as Gusti Puteri Retno Dumilah,
explained that the creative team had spent a
lot of time brainstorming on what improvements could be made to the musical.
"We all agreed to meet again after taking a
break, and went on a 'study tour' of sorts:
Zahim and (set designer) Raja Malek went to
London and watched some of the latest West
End shows, and I watched a few in
Melbourne and Tasmania.
"We noticed that the new musicals were
using a more high-tech approach, which
seemed to gel very well with new and seasoned theatre audiences. Lord of the Rings,
Zorro, Tarzan and my favourite, Wicked, fea
tured a lot of 3D and special effects, designed
"So, when (the creative team) came up
with the idea of incorporating illusions and
special effects in PGLM, we all leapt in
excitement!" she said.
Tiara also said that since this was PGLM's
third run, the team felt they neededto
explore different elements to take it to a
"We feel that musical theatre in Malaysia
is flourishing, so we need to keep upping the
ante. Audiences are looking beyond just the
song-and-dance and expect something a bit
more spectacular and dynamic. Since this is
the direction the big musicals are taking, we
thought we should try it here too."
In order for the show to keep evolving,
changes have also been made.
"We started looking at the script again,
and discovered a lot of new things," said
Zahim. "We thought about how to delve
deeper into the story, to make more impact.
So this time around, the audience can expect
tighter, deeper performances, which should
pack more of an emotional punch."
With additional sets, some new costumes
and a revamped lighting design, viewers
can expect a completely new visual experiehce.
There will be more use of 3D in the video
projections, and new techniques will be seen
too. Some fresh new music has been added,
as well as new musical arrangements.
"Don't try to imagine how these changes
might work, just come and watch the show!"
'Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical's third
season, which is spearheaded by Enfiniti
Productions Sdn Bhd, will run from Feb 6 to 21
at lstana Buclaya, Kuala Lurnpur. The rnusical's
sponsors include RHB Banking Group, Public
Bank, UEM Group Berhad, Ntv7 and Yayasan
Tuanku Nur Zahirah.
Ticket prices range from RM30 to RM350
and are on sale through Access Tickets' website
(axcess.corn.my). Alternatively, call the ticket
hotline at 03-7711 5000. For details, visit , or enJiniti.corn.rny.wvvvv.pglthernusical.corn.my