In September 2019, Liver & Lung Productions, the Malaysian-British theatre company behind the Malaya Relived anthology, adapted Yasmin Ahmad’s masterpiece film, Sepet, as an immersive musical. This weekend, they are releasing a free-to-watch streaming of the production on their YouTube channel. In partnership with GMBB, a creative hub in Bukit Bintang, Sepet The Musical ran for three sold-out weekends in late September.
The recording of the musical will be released at 9PM on May 1st, providing families with a post-iftar treat this Ramadan. The show will stream online until May 9th and there will also be a live talkback session at 9PM on May 2nd with the creative team. Audiences can catch a preview of the performance by watching the Sepet The Musical trailer.
“Last year, we were honoured to pay homage to this iconic film and were elated that Malaysians were happy with the outcome. We saw people from all walks of life come and watch the show and they all took something away from it,” said Shafeeq Shajahan, founder of Liver & Lung and director of the musical.
“Tapping into the magic that Yasmin Ahmad created was incredibly humbling. People were in tears every night. We had something incredible in our hands,” he added. “The vision for Sepet The Musical was to stay authentic to its source material and reignite the film’s narrative for a new generation of Malaysians.”
With a run time of 1.5 hours, Sepet The Musical tells the story of two teenagers in Ipoh – Jason and Orked. Jason is a 19-year-old Chinese VCD seller, while the bright Malay school girl Orked loves John Woo films and everything Takeshi Kaneshiro. As a romance blossoms between them, social and racial pressures slowly surface as obstacles.
“The show sold-out almost immediately, so we’re happy that we get to share it with you now,” said Hannah Shields, co-founder of Liver & Lung and choreographer of the musical.
“These are unprecedented times and Liver & Lung aims to continue celebrating innovation and creating art,” Hannah added.
The performance of Sepet The Musical was recorded live at GMBB on September 21st, 2019. It stars Joshua Gui and Badrika Bahadur as Jason and Orked, and is being launched on Liver & Lung’s YouTube channel, which features other digital theatrical content. The aim is to bring artists and audiences together in the age of COVID-19 and social distancing.