We attended the theater-musical adaption of Ola Bola, and the only thing we had in mind before we walked in was “How are they gonna portray the football match on a stage that’s not even a quarter of a real stadium?” But right as the lights dimmed, they answered our question by using interesting stage techniques and creative movements to enhance the mood of the audience, featuring the football matches from different angles. From its beautiful choreography to arresting visuals, there’s a lot to cheer for with OlaBola The Musical.
Presented by CIMB and directed by Puan Sri Tiara Jacquelina, the performance follows the phenomenal film OlaBola which was first screened in 2016, narrating the glories of the national football team Harimau Malaya and their journey to qualify for the 1980 Olympics. It retained the similar message of unity, friendship and teamwork through football, and was full of heart-tugging lyrics, fascinating choreography and stellar acting.
The scenes were not only on the “football field”. Instead, the background constantly changed from a vintage coffee shop to the team’s locker room to kampung houses, military camps and many more. The transitions were clever, easy on the eyes, and made to look effortless when in fact it took more than 200 production crew during the performance to change scenes in between.
Tiara stated that new digital staging technology used such as LED large screen visual background, 180 degrees view, digital floor mapping, visual animations, state-of-the-art lightings and 360 degrees surround sound was what enriched the stage atmosphere.
Fun fact: OlaBola The Musical is Malaysia’s first ever rap and hip hop musical. With appearance from the OG himself, Altimet, the music and lyrics perfectly set each scene as it transitioned from melodious show tunes of empowerment to tense rap battles in place of an argument. Hip hop definitely brought out the ferocity of the sport and what Harimau Malaya was trying to achieve.
Despite being performed by new names on the theatre stage such as Luqman Hafidz, Brian Chan, Melissa Ong and Jian Wen, they were been able to portray their characters splendidly.
A big shout out to actor Iedil Putra, who portrayed the character of Rahman – notably played by Bront Palarae in the film. Iedil gave us an enthusiastic sports commentator that was constantly touching the hearts of the audience whenever he appeared. Experienced comedy actor Douglas Lim also managed to steal the show with his witty jokes as Uncle Wong.
Basically, go get your tickets now and be in awe of the whole experience! Get two and bring a date along this V-Day!
To get tickets, click here.