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More magic to the mythical princess IN an effort to add more magic to Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical (PGLM), the upcoming third season of the show will include spectacular illusions and special

The musical, set during Malacca's golden era, is the story of the legendary love of heroic warrior Hang Tuah and the mythical princess of Gunung Ledang.

With a skilled illusionist on board, the mystical and spiritual aspects of the show will be played up, injecting sparkle and wonder into the much-loved musical. Through these effects, characters like the Bayan (the princess' nanny), who has mystical powers in the story, are made to appear like they are
really performing magic.

The cast was certainly thrilled about this new treat for their fans. Director Datuk Zahim Albakri feels that the theme of PGLM lends itself perfectly to these "magical" touches: "The special effects are not there
simply for the sake of being there; they serve the story and enhance it. We want to the audience to be wowed, to watch our show and wonder, 'How did they do that?'" he said during a recent press conference to announce the changes.

Datin 5eri Tiara Jacquelina, who reprises her role as Gusti Puteri Retno Dumilah, explained that the creative team had spent a lot of time brainstorming on what improvements could be made to the musical.
"We all agreed to meet again after taking a break, and went on a 'study tour' of sorts:
Zahim and (set designer) Raja Malek went to London and watched some of the latest West End shows, and I watched a few in Melbourne and Tasmania.

"We noticed that the new musicals were using a more high-tech approach, which seemed to gel very well with new and seasoned theatre audiences. Lord of the Rings, Zorro, Tarzan and my favourite, Wicked, fea
tured a lot of 3D and special effects, designed by illusionists.

"So, when (the creative team) came up with the idea of incorporating illusions and special effects in PGLM, we all leapt in excitement!" she said.

Tiara also said that since this was PGLM's third run, the team felt they neededto explore different elements to take it to a higher level.

"We feel that musical theatre in Malaysia is flourishing, so we need to keep upping the ante. Audiences are looking beyond just the song-and-dance and expect something a bit more spectacular and dynamic. Since this is the direction the big musicals are taking, we thought we should try it here too."

In order for the show to keep evolving, changes have also been made.

"We started looking at the script again, and discovered a lot of new things," said Zahim. "We thought about how to delve deeper into the story, to make more impact. So this time around, the audience can expect tighter, deeper performances, which should pack more of an emotional punch."

With additional sets, some new costumes and a revamped lighting design, viewers can expect a completely new visual experiehce.

There will be more use of 3D in the video projections, and new techniques will be seen too. Some fresh new music has been added, as well as new musical arrangements.

"Don't try to imagine how these changes might work, just come and watch the show!" said Zahim.

'Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical's third season, which is spearheaded by Enfiniti Productions Sdn Bhd, will run from Feb 6 to 21 at lstana Buclaya, Kuala Lurnpur. The rnusical's sponsors include RHB Banking Group, Public Bank, UEM Group Berhad, Ntv7 and Yayasan Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

Ticket prices range from RM30 to RM350 and are on sale through Access Tickets' website ( Alternatively, call the ticket hotline at 03-7711 5000. For details, visit , or

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