Sports and theatre may seem as disparate as oil and water, but this February, Malaysia’s Enfiniti is about the change all that with OlaBola The Musical, an all new locally produced show set to open the prestigious Istana Budaya performing arts centre following its renovation.
Based off the 2016 film of the same name, which was in turn based off true events, OlaBola The Musical is a period piece set in the tumultuous 1980s, and follows a team of footballers with a streak of embarrassing losses to their name. Each one saddled with a multitude of personal issues, the team begins to crack and fall apart. With only one chance left to achieve international glory in qualifying for the 1980 Summer Olympics, the multicultural group of men must push past their odds and difficulties and fight on for the sake of the whole of Malaysia.
Just as the musical is all about Malaysians coming together from all walks of life to support their national team, OlaBola The Musical will feature an all star cast and creative team from the very best of Malaysia’s talent pool. OlaBola will be directed by Tiara Jacquelina, who faces her biggest challenge yet as she attempts to recreate the full experience of a football stadium full of 50,000 people on stage. Meanwhile the soundtrack will feature rap and hip-hop songs by award-winning veterans composer-lyricist Mia Palencia and rapper-lyricist Altimet in a first time collaboration, with the latter even joining the cast in his debut theatre appearance.
OlaBola will star an eclectic mix of performers, from established theatre actors Brian Chan, Abimanyu Masilamani, Kai Chalmers, to recording artiste Melissa Ong, to celebrated stage and film actor Iedil Putra. They will even be joined by two cast members from the original movie: Luqman Hafidz and Lim Jian Wen. Even the ensemble is not to be trifled with, with Miss World Malaysia 2015 Brynn Zalina Lovett performing alongside dancer-actress Emma Tosh, and featuring award-winning street dancers Giller Battle Crew from Sabah, as well as renowned champion hip-hop dancers Budak Joget, led by OlaBola’s Assistant Choreographer Fuzz Wayne.
Poised to be one of the biggest productions of the year in Malaysia, OlaBola The Musical promises to deliver a powerful lesson from the pass and a hopeful message for the future. Celebrating the country in all its multiculturalism and its unity as a nation, this poignant zero-to-hero story is set to give audiences a new lease on life as they watch these many talents rap, dance and portray this gripping story of a country brought together by a single goal, and walk away with the determination to fight for their dreams in the beautiful country of Malaysia.
OlaBola The Musical plays from 8th February – 11th March 2018 at Panggung Sari Istana Budaya, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur. Tickets available from Galactix.