klpac's online 'Tunku The Musical' pays tribute to Malaysia and its founding father

Stream the Merdeka production for free on YouTube for a limited time only.

(All photos: Weeling Chen)

[Update: The show has been extended until September 12, midnight] 

To commemorate Merdeka Day, Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac) is releasing its archival recording of Tunku The Musical on YouTube for fans to watch at home for free. The production, a tribute to Malaysia and its founding father, will be available on klpac’s channel from noon of August 31 to midnight of September 7.

Tunku The Musical brings audiences through a 50-year journey beginning with Merdeka Day through the Singapore-Malaya separation, the 1969 riots and to the year it was staged, 2007. The four timelines interweave stories and characters that give insight to how the country’s independence effected its people and portray the rakyat’s hopes and ambitions for Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, who is also referred to as Bapa Kemerdekaan (Father of Independence) and Bapa Malaysia (Father of Malaysia).

Expect all the colour, drama, excitement, heartache and uncertainty in relation to that fateful Saturday morning in 1957, when cries of “Merdeka!” reverberated across the entire country. And watch Maria Yasmin — who won Best Solo Performance, Voice at the BOH Cameronian Arts Awards in 2007 —, Tony Eusoff, Douglas Lim, Syuk Ibrahim, Evelyn Toh, Doreen Tang, Zamil Idris and other 46 talented performers bring to show to life alongside an 18-piece orchestra playing over 30 original compositions.

Written by Lim Chuang Yik and Teng Ky-Gan for Malaysia's 50th anniversary celebrations 14 years ago, the musical was brought to life by director Joe Hasham, musical director Mervyn Peters, choreographer Joseph Gonzales, costume designer Dominique Devorsine, production designer Paul Loosley and lighting designer Mac Chan. 

It is a timely revisitation, especially when the country continues to battle the pandemic and serves as a reminder to stay hopeful and united.

Tunku The Musical is part of klpac’s Watch from Home series that brings some of its best recorded productions online while it endures lengthy lockdowns, which has costed more than RM2 million in losses. Though this musical will be free to stream, donations are welcomed and can be made here.


Watch Tunku The Musical here.


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