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

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 mu-sic 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

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