Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sirah Muzikal

Watched Sirah Muzikal yesterday at an auditorium in Putrajaya. It was part of an effort to present an alternative, family-friendly edutainment for the public. Though in the end we were quite confused who the target audience actually was :/

The overall content was good but perhaps too ambitious. In trying to slot in a lot of Islamic history, from the period before Islam was born to the fall of the Ottomans, capturing the audience attention was forgotten. Well, having hard facts thrown at you for something like 3+ hours was exhausting. Truthfully, I lost interest by the fourth/final act.

It also doesn't help that no background story was given about which period was being staged. I spent a majority of the third act trying to figure out from which part of history the name King Solomon came front (of course the first thing that came to mind was something about King Solomon's Mine LOL). This is where the confusion about which type of audience they are targeting came in. Maybe they were assuming that since the majority of the people who came were people who are active in Islamic youth movements (and thus have been attending tazkirah sessions that usually come with a bit of Islamic history sprinkled in), the director felt that there was no need to present a clear indication of which historical events they were acting out. Unfortunately for me, being a non-participant in all these extra-curricular activities and the last clear Islamic history lesson I remember learning was from Tamadun Dunia lessons in Form 4, I was lost. I feel that if they want to bring this to the public, they need to account for the fact that the majority of us probably would need some refresher in the events surrounding Islamic history. Even the people I came with (who I know to be active in the usrah circles) were quite lost on which historical events they were referring to in the final act.

Technical glitches were also aplenty. The most glaring was the sound system where
(1) some actors' mics were not functioning, and thus the audience was lost about what's actually happening;
(2) sometimes the background music drowned the actors' voices
Props movement also took a lot of time, even when the props were only like three chairs and several side tables. Perhaps they did not get the opportunity to practise a lot at the official venue?

However, the most annoying aspect of the whole performance was not the theater itself, but the conduct of the audience. The organisers should have warned the audience to refrain from using flash photography during the performance! I know that probably most of the audience have never attended a theatrical performance at Istana Budaya, but didn't they have the common sense to see that using flash in a dark area can be distracting? It's hard to watch the stage with all these flashes going on D: And what's worse was the fact that the official photographers for the events (I'm guessing they were since they were the ones near the stage and all) were guilty of the same conduct!

In an effort not to sound as if I only have negative things to say about this performance, I do applaud the nasyid artistes they invited as part of the musical. Their voices were astounding to hear live. And the actors did a good job ad-libbing, adding much humour to what would otherwise be a quite dry show.


On another note, Percy Jackson & The Olympian series has been an interesting read. In fact, I finished all five books last weekend. Though it's not as funny as the Artemis Fowl series, it does have its moments. It was fun trying to figure out which Greek legend was going to materialise next in the series.

I could see why Hollywood chose to adapt these series to the big screen. They have heroes going on quests, gods going to war and all those action stuff that would translate well on the screen. Also, lots of monsters to be rendered by CGI :D

The continuation of the series will be out this month I believe, and I think I will try to get my hands on them.

No comments: