Jumaat, 18 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

Klik GAMBAR Dibawah Untuk Lebih Info
Sumber Asal Berita :-

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Arts & Fashion

You'll be ensnared


The Mousetrap has stood the test of time for a reason: the clever plot keeps you guessing.

It is the classic murder mystery set-up: a group of people are brought together in a particular location, when suddenly, one of them ends up dead. Now, the rest have to race against time to discover who amongst them is responsible, before the murderer strikes again.

The Mousetrap, however, is not just another whodunit; it is possibly THE whodunit, especially when it comes to stage. Penned by the Queen of Crime Agatha Christie herself, it is the longest play in the world, having opened in London's West End in 1952 and playing continuously since then.

Having the opportunity to catch it in Kuala Lumpur, as part of the production's Diamond Anniversary celebration, then, feels like a real privilege, and theatregoers will not be disappointed by the show, which is presented by the British Theatre Playhouse and Milestone Production.

The Mousetrap is set in Monkswell Manor, a guest house in the English countryside, where seven people, including the owners Giles and Mollie Ralston, are stranded thanks to a snowstorm. They hear news of murder in a nearby farmhouse, and a policeman, Sergeant Trotter, manages to reach them to ensure they are alright. When one of the seven people is myteriously murdered, however, the awful truth dawns upon the rest: that one of them in the house is the culprit.

As Sergeant Trotter tries to uncover who this could be, lies are exposed and secrets are revealed about every person there, making each one a plausible suspect; will the murderer be found before he or she strikes again?

The play is vintage Christie, and any fan of her works will feel a thrill watching her legacy come alive onstage. Brilliantly written, the script is so very British, with delicious lines of dialogue and a liberal dose of dry humour sprinkled throughout. Some parts of the play may feel slightly antiquated, particularly to a modern audience used to more gritty crime thrillers – however, there is also an elegance to the way the characters and plot are allowed to slowly develop that points to Christie's mastery of the genre.

Adding to the experience is the fantastic set design, which is very much a part of the plot. Originally conceived in 1952 by Roger Furse, it was executed here by Malcolm J. McInnes (with Ken Wilkins consulting).

Dropping in: Sergeant Trotter (Thomas Richardson) shows up to solve the mystery at Mollie Ralston's (Isla Carter) guesthouse.

Dropping in: Sergeant Trotter (Thomas Richardson) shows up to solve the mystery at Mollie Ralston's (Isla Carter) guesthouse.

While it is just one main set — the great hall at Monkswell Manor — the use of multiple doors and clever positioning creates a very dynamic feel to the space, and often, the set itself is an essential part of the storyline. For all its simplicity, the way the physical boundaries of the set integrate with the storyline is theatre at its best.

One of the staging's biggest pluses is an excellent cast, who ably carry the burden of bringing these classic characters to life. Playing these roles require a delicate balance, revealing a character's personality while also keeping their motivations under wraps, and each actor manages this to great effect, keeping the audience on its toes the whole way through.

Chemistry and tension between the various cast members are also essential, and this is another aspect in which the performers excel. Some standout performances include Thomas Richardson as Sergeant Trotter, Richard Keightley as a quirky young architect named Christopher Wren, and Isla Carter as the much-put-upon proprietor Mollie.

No doubt, The Mousetrap has stood the test of time for a reason, and while bearing all the hallmarks of a classic, still ensnares the first-time viewer with its clever plot that keeps you guessing.

And as for who really did it, well now, that would be spoiling the fun, wouldn't it?

>The Mousetrap is currently playing at Dewan Bandaraya Auditorium, DBKL Tower 1, Jalan Raja Laut in Kuala Lumpur till Oct 20 (8pm, with an additional matinee show on Oct 19). Tickets available from www.ticketcharge.com.my cost between RM80 and RM380. Hotline: 03-9222-8811.

MPO meets MJ


Michael Jackson is dubbed the King Of Pop for many reasons, and one of those is the worldwide phenomenon his music created during his 40-year music career.

Hence, it is delightful to still be able to discover new depths to the late singer's works, such as when they were recently presented by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).

The Music Of Michael Jackson at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) was an opportunity for both Jackson fans and classical music aficionados to experience how these two seemingly-disparate genres can, in fact, complement each other to create something rather special.

From the moment the show kicked off with a medley of Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough and Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', the audience was smitten.

Frontlining was James Delisco, who kept the crowd going with his vocals and dancing, not to mention his infectious personality, while the MPO was conducted by the enthusiastic Brent Havens.

The show did its best to cover the entire breadth of Jackson's career, from the Jackson 5 days – with favourites like I'll Be There – to his later chart-toppers like Earth Song.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the show was how Jackson's music allowed the MPO to show off their skill at genres we wouldn't usually associate with them.

Numbers like The Way You Make Me Feel, Bad and Beat It had them in top form, and the appreciative audience was on their feet with them all the way.

Conversely, being performed by a full orchestra also added new dimensions to familiar hits. The intense backing of the string section, for instance, heightened the inherent darkness and drama of numbers like Billie Jean and Smooth Criminal.

And while there can be no replacing the man himself, Delisco provided fitting tribute – some of his best performances of the night included a moving rendition of Man In The Mirror and a lovely duet of I Just Can't Stop Loving You with singer and former American Idol contestant Felicia Barton.

As the night ended with the entire audience dancing to Thriller – many in fedoras and white gloves, reenacting the iconic dance moves – that four years may have passed since the King Of Pop's death, but his music continues to find new ways to live on. — Sharmilla Ganesan

'Lion King' first Broadway show to hit US$1bil at box office


Long-running, award-winning production will reach milestone this week or next.

THE folks at Disney Theatrical Group are humming Hakunna Matata this morning. The Lion King is on the verge of achieving what even musical mega-hits like Les Miserables and The Phantom Of The Opera have yet to accomplish: becoming the first Broadway show in history to cross the US$1bil (RM3.15bil) mark at the box office.

The show should hit that number either this week or next, a spokesman for the company said.

The Tony Award-winning show has been on Broadway in New York City for 16 years and has been hailed for its innovative use of puppets as stand-ins for animal characters and the stylish direction of Julie Taymor.

"This humbling milestone is a testament to the vision and artistry of Julie Taymor," Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a statement.

"For nearly 17 years she has been The Lion King's guiding creative force and an inspiration to the show's brilliant cast, musicians and crew. But above all, we thank our loving audiences who continue to be moved and delighted night after night at the Minskoff Theatre and all around the world."

The selection of Taymor was a courageous one – she was best known at the time for her imaginative and offbeat staging of works by Shakespeare and Mozart – but Lion King earned critical plaudits and Tonys for Best Musical and Best Director.

Not all of her subsequent endeavours have been as fruitful. Taymor was fired from the Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark in 2011 over creative differences and cost overruns. Critics didn't care for the final product much, either.

Last July, The Lion King's North American touring companies made US$1bil. The film adaptation of The Lion King has made more than US$960mil (RM3bil) worldwide. – Reuters

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

0 ulasan:

Catat Ulasan


The Star Online

Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved