Continuing its yearly tradition of wowing audiences; R.E.A.L Schools, Suria Campus, Cheras has once again taken the diverse creative talents of its students and faculty to another level with its first fully original production, ‘Kristella the Musical’. With its three-show viewing from 28 to 30 May 2015, the school’s Hall of Character was furnished and transformed into the magical world of ‘Kristella’.
The two-hour long play kept audiences thoroughly entertained and engaged with wonderful performances, impressive visuals and catchy tunes. Every performer’s passion and dedication were apparent, particularly during the dance numbers. ‘Kristella’ marks a milestone achievement for the school as not only did the event coincide with Suria’s 30th anniversary; it was also made special by the fact that everything about the musical, from script to song, was originally written and produced by Suria Production, the school’s very own in-house team of passionate teachers who are also talented directors, musicians, artists, and designers. The students have benefitted greatly from the professional guidance of their mentors who tirelessly give their best in the school’s creative endeavours.
‘Kristella’ (with the protagonist played by Cassandra Chan) tells the story of the titular character’s journey of self-discovery and finding love. Being an orphan, the good-hearted girl is being taken care of by the unkind and spiteful Bernard family. One day, whilst wandering in the magical and lush world of Oscavia, she stumbles upon a diminutive but powerful genie. The mischievous albeit friendly Genie (played by David Garreth) grants Kristella her wish to be loved by magically transporting her to a fantasy world of glamour and fashion – Trixey City. Not long after her arrival, Kristella soon discovers the bustling city’s temptations and pitfalls of fame in her newfound role as the main act and star attraction of Cabaret Nightclub, which threatens to destroy all of who she is and everything she has been searching for her whole life.
The months leading up to the event required perseverance, focus and sacrifice which were rewarded in abundance with the successful staging of the musical. Taking into account the sheer scale of the musical with every component produced from scratch, the months of rehearsal and preparation by the cast and crew deserve special attention and praise. With interchangeable stage backdrops, splendid props, impressive lighting effects, stunningly beautiful costumes and a string of originally-composed songs performed LIVE by the school orchestra and choir, ‘Kristella’ was truly a spectacle to behold.
Helming the musical was director En. Mohd Izham and producer En. Farid Yusoff. They were supported by a team of creative and capable individuals whose respective areas of expertise brought the musical to life. The ensemble cast meanwhile, was a collaboration of students from both the national and international schools of Suria Campus. Hailing from various levels and age groups, a few played some of the other memorable characters such as the Genie’s Trixey City alter ego, Geena (En. Hazrol Shafiq), Kristella’s love interest, Mathias (Khairil Ridhwan), lead singer and diva of Cabaret Nightclub, Thalia (Anessa Malik), Thalia’s partner, Rocco (Muhammad Amirul) and Mrs. Bernard (Rachel Chin Chyi).
There was also a ‘Fashion Runway Show’ segment that took centre stage during the intermission of the musical. Young, budding models showcased a wide range of original student designs which were exclusively crafted ‘in-house’ courtesy of the school’s unique and innovative Art & Design programme.
In her programme notes; Ms. Lee Seow Ping, Senior Principal and Business Manager of R.E.A.L Schools, Suria Campus, Cheras said, “I am especially proud of our students and teachers who have used every triumph and challenge on this journey to reach for their better selves. Kristella the Musical is a labour of love, born from the beautiful efforts of individuals who had the courage to dream big but more importantly, who had the enthusiasm and perseverance to put those dreams into reality”. Ms. Lee also served as Executive Producer of the play.
This latest musical offering serves as R.E.A.L Schools’ testament to the practice and philosophy of providing education that goes beyond mere academic results. For the past 30 years, this has been what R.E.A.L education is all about – nurturing students with outstanding character values, collaborative skills, clear critical thinking ability, effective communication and social skills, as well as innovative creativity. The performing arts, along with a myriad of other extracurricular activities and major school events, all play a vital and practical role in fulfilling our mission of transforming lives.