The musical short film Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) is all set for its online premiere this Friday.
Directed and composed by Malaysian-British arts group Liver & Lung co-founder Shafeeq Shajahan, the 35-minute long ticketed show (RM15) will be streamed via the Peatix Live platform from Jan 8-10 at 8pm.
The short film, which will be presented in English, is based on the company’s 2016 stage production of the same name. It won the Boh Cameronian Arts Award for Innovation in Musical Theatre in 2017.
“The film adaptation has been gestating in my mind for a while so I’m so happy that we are finally releasing it to the world, ” says Shafeeq.
Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) revamps an iconic Malaysian legend with a clever, modern twist. Five students, including autistic genius Adam are locked in a detention classroom. Adam stumbles upon a mysterious book and to pass his time and calm himself, he starts to read it.
In a flash, the classroom and its occupants morph into the backdrop for an age-old Malaysian legend. The youngsters find themselves lost in 18th century Langkawi, and Adam must help magical Mahsuri, wife of warrior Wan Derus, escape from the wrath of her mother-in-law after false accusations of adultery and dishonesty are thrown on her.
Shafeeq, 28, shares that Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) is positioned as a pilot for a multi-episode musical television series, where each episode of the series would explore a different Asian legend.
“At Liver & Lung, we are driven to move the Malaysian arts scene forward and bolster authentically Malaysian stories.
“By shifting our stories from stage to screen, we are offering audiences a scalable proposition that they can watch from across the globe, ” says Shafeeq.
Last month, the company launched the musical’s soundtrack album on Spotify.
Featuring six original songs, Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) stars Badrika Baluch (as Mahsuri), Joshua Gui (as Wan Derus), Adam (Badrish Isdin), Nabilah Hamid (as Mahura) and Nave VJ (as Deraman).
Filming for the musical spanned two weeks in January last year at various locations in KL and Selangor, including Pantai Morib.
The film was also a finalist at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2020 in Tokyo last June.
Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales)'s soundtrack blends South and South-East Asian sounds with contemporary musical theatre elements to reimagine the legend, documenting Mahsuri’s arrival in Langkawi, and her romance with the warrior Wan Derus.
With the pandemic causing uncertainties when it comes to live shows, Shafeeq is looking at the virtual option to keep Liver & Lung busy this year.
"We will keep releasing digital content throughout 2021. Many people have also been requesting for the Sepet The Musical and let's just say... it's in the works!" he promises.
'Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales)' will be streamed on Peatix Live. Show dates: Jan 8-10 (8pm). Ticket price: RM15.
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