Keep watching this space, we're almost there putting together a coffee table book on our experience putting P.Ramlee - the Musical together. crossing fingers it can be printed and ready to go before our run at Istana Budaya ends, ha ha! you'll find photos of season 1, esplanade and season 2 in it, as well as interviews with the cast, creatives and production team. below is my foreword for the book:
Its 3 days to go til curtains go up for season 2 in KL. We’re doing technical rehearsals as I write, and my team of 200 actors, ensemble, “creatives", stage management team, “transformers”, art department, technicians, the lighting team, audio team, projection team, musicians and backing vocalists are working on every scene tirelessly, from prologue to epilogue, over and over and over again. This is what it’s all about, in theatre production. It’s the quest for perfection, with no room for any mistakes. Each of the 200 people on this production fully appreciates how much his or her individual focus, precision, discipline and fullest effort is so critical to the successful performance of every other member of the group. The whole team effort is like a chain, where we can’t afford to have a single weak link.
At any one moment, so many elements need to fall in place precisely at the same time – music cues, a performer hitting the right blocking onstage, the fly bars bringing backdrops up and down, stage lifts and wagons moving in and out, performers changing in as little as 45 seconds, the front and back “iris” opening and closing on cue, lights need to change, performers microphones need to be turned up and down as they take turns to speak or sing, the audio levels of the musicians and actors need constant balancing… if any single component is out of sync, it throws everything into disarray, and that’s disaster-something that cannot happen in a live performance.
There is so much that we have learnt from both our mistakes and successes. This is a record of our journey behind the scenes of this production so that this invaluable experience can be shared with fans and supporters of theatre and the arts, as well as fellow practitioners, students and dreamers of the future.
This book has been in the making since the first season last November, but so much has been added and taken out of it since our Singapore run as well as season two in KL. Thank you MPH and Faridah for being so patient and accommodating with all the additions and changes!
This book is dedicated to the many heroes, sung and unsung, who form that magical chain that has made this musical happen. But above all, to the greatest hero of all time, the man whose life story we are trying to tell, P.Ramlee. Rest in peace, master. Hope we made you smile…