Theatre fans are in for a patriotic treat! Critically acclaimed and award-winning international theatre company, Liver & Lung will release its historical musical based on the Malayan Independence Movement of 1957 for a limited digital run via its YouTube channel, streaming online from 2pm on August 31 until 2pm on September 12.
Titled “Malaya Relived: Merdeka”, the 80-minute live recording of the critically acclaimed production tells the story of a formidable Indian-Malayan diplomat who begins a love affair with a British journalist at the height of the anti-colonial Malayan movement in 1957.
The musical kicks off when Sylvia Graham, a British Foreign Correspondent, travels to Malaya and hopes to pen the article of her career, offering a fresh account on what the country’s fight for independence will mean for the British Empire. Little does she know that she is about to rewrite the plot of her own life when she meets Raj Veerasamy, a formidable proponent of decolonization, active member of the Malayan Indian Congress and staunch supporter of the rising anti-colonial Malaysian movement, Merdeka.
“Merdeka” was part of Liver & Lung’s Malaya “Relived” series, a musical anthology based on iconic events in Malayan history. This critically acclaimed show ran for a sold-out weekend last year.
“The musical explores freedom, fidelity and forbidden love. Last year, audiences travelled back in time with us to experience 1950s Malaya and relive Malaysia and Britain’s collective history. As a company with roots in both nations, exploring our shared past was something that felt authentic and necessary,” explained Hannah Shields, founder of Liver & Lung and writer of the musical.
Starring Ola Bola’s Prem Sagar, Astro VBuzz’s Shangkharee Nadarajan and Liver & Lung founder, Hannah Shields, “Merdeka” is brought to life with original music inspired by traditional Indian ragas and the dulcet tones of P. Ramlee in tribute to our cultural heritage and to celebrate what it means to be Malaysian.
“‘Malaya Relived’ is a love letter to my country. About belonging and togetherness, it’s important we remember this in our socially distant world and remind each other that we can still unite, even though we’re apart. We’re so excited to bring theatre to your living rooms and hope the show adds a special touch to your 63rd Merdeka!” shared Shafeeq Shajahan, founder of Liver & Lung and director and co-composer of the musical.
Plus, it is aimed to bring artists and audiences together post-COVID-19 and keep the arts scene alive in Malaysia, Britain and the world. Let’s celebrate the country’s origin story in true musical fashion!