Mahsuri (And Other Peculiar Tales) –
A New Musical



by Sarah Daniella Dickman


The retelling of some of the most iconic Malaysian legends has taken a new form and donned a fabulous getup through Liver and Lung’s upcoming production called Mahsuri (And Other Peculiar Tales) – A New Musical.  We sat down with director, Shafeeq Shajahan, to talk about this new production, and how it revolutionizes the process of story-telling where Malaysian stories are concerned.

Written by Shafeeq Shahjahan and Anusha Abishegam, this production anthologises four Malaysian epics – Mahsuri, Puteri Lindungan Bulan, Pontianak and Bawang Merah, Bawang Putih – presenting it to the audience in a way that it has never been seen or heard before.

Shafeeq, director of the production, told us that he was not interested in yet another reproduction of a Western Broadway classic but rather wished to create something that would speak to the people who share his culture and roots – Malaysians. He believes that art is not meant to be easy or pretty all the time; art is meant to be incisive and disruptive, that causes discomfort and a jolt from everyday life. Shafeeq’s desire through this whole production is to create ‘harrowing’ art, that raises eyebrows, but also causes the audience to reflect internally, and respond to this art.

The cast that will bring this musical to life are a group of highly talented individuals who have amazing repertoires themselves – Badrika Bahadur, Badrish Bahadur, Phraveen Arikiah, Iz Sulaini and Nabilah Hamid. The portrayal of these well-known pieces of Malaysian folklore is brought to different light, as they shed light on the culture through a feminist and liberal eye-glass.

From the musical standpoint, the scores and soundtracks are nothing short of breathtaking, composed by Ian Abel Nathaniel, for Bawang Merah, Bawang Putih and Puteri Lindungan Bulan; and Shafeeq for Pontianak and Mahsuri. This production is something that should not be missed out on. Running this weekend from the 27th to the 29th of May, in Melt’On SS15, this production uses site-specific theatre, making the audience feel like they are literally inside the play itself. I don’t know about you, but we’re excited to see this 21st century retelling of Malaysian classics, that we all know and love.

Get your tickets, and your free scoop of ice cream, and let’s all get reacquainted with stories our mothers, teachers, neighbours and elders have told us once upon a time, a long time ago.


Date: 27th – 29th May 2016
Time: 8.30pm
Venue: Melt’On Cafe, SS15 Subang Jaya
Event Page: Mahsuri (And Other Peculiar Tales) – A New Musical
Book tickets: Mahsuri Form