R.E.A.L Schools, Cheras Campus has come roaring back with a wild and wonderful adventure to amaze audiences of all ages. Following in the blazing trail of previous plays such as ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Tarzan’, ‘Nanny the Musical’, ‘Green Witch’ and ‘Kristella the Musical’, among others; this year’s live presentation – entitled ‘Lost in Qolora’ – is another full-fledged, self-produced musical that certainly lived up to its promise of thrilling existing fans once more and winning over new ones with a spectacular showcase of theatre, music and dance. This time around, the campus’ Hall of Character was once again brilliantly transformed into an enthralling world of wilderness that is ‘Qolora’.
The two-hour musical, which ran recently for three consecutive days, kept audiences thoroughly engrossed and entertained throughout; with captivating performances and even special effects in the form of fire breathers. ‘Lost in Qolora’ is testament that last year’s success of R.E.A.L Schools’ maiden original production, ‘Kristella’, was no flash in the pan. In fact, this latest instalment has stepped up to the plate, especially in terms of costumes and set design. The superb live music that was performed by talented members of the school orchestra and choir also featured songs that were originally composed by the Cheras Campus staff themselves; in particular its passionate band of musicians. R.E.A.L students benefit immensely from the professional guidance of these mentors who tirelessly give their best in an effort to promote all forms of art and their respective crafts to the young blooded.
‘Lost in Qolora’ tells the story of Velma, an obstinate and rebellious child who craves for her parents to be more attentive to her needs. She survives a plane crash but ends up alone and stranded in the jungles of Qolora as the fate of her overbearing parents following the crash is unknown. Rescued from a pack of ravenous wolves by Tigara the tiger, Velma was subsequently taken in by his family and friends. The storyline also revolves around Tigara, who discovers the truth behind his true origins while being forced to stave off an enemy’s plot to kill him and rein terror over the Kingdom of Qolora. According to parent Choy Chee Mei, “Lost in Qolora has definitely surpassed my expectations of a school musical. Apart from the breathtaking production, the heartwarming story propagates the values of love, humility, friendship and respect, especially to children amongst the audience”.
“Being in a musical has exposed me to the various techniques that would enhance an actor’s performance and director’s vision of the play. Polishing these skills; which involve singing, dancing and improvisation; is a key element in bringing a musical to life,” said Lam Cher Sze, 11, who played Velma. “With wonderfully patient teachers guiding us every step of the way, we rose to the challenge and I now have a newfound love and respect for acting,” said fellow cast member Adam Adnan. Britney Lim Yee Nie concurred. “This musical has taught me the finer details of acting. It has also influenced my own individuality and altered my perspective of the performing arts. It is a living, breathing art form that can stir and evoke strong emotions between performer and audience,” she said.
During the halftime intermission of the musical, there was even a ‘Fashion Runway Show’ that featured youthful, budding models who paraded a wide range of original clothing creations that were crafted exclusively by Cheras Campus’ Art & Design department. It was a perfect platform for the student fashion designers and models to showcase their fabulous designs and innovative talents. The department was also tasked with coming up with the musical’s array of amazing costumes and props.
‘Lost in Qolora’ is a massive undertaking that was months in the making. Hours of rehearsals and preparations by the crew to build brilliant backdrops and realistic stage sets had all paid off in the end though; when the spotlights came on to treat audiences to a delightful feast for the senses. The ensemble cast of actors and dancers comprised students of all ages; whilst dedicated directors, designers, artists, scriptwriters and choreographers also brought their respective expertise to the table. ‘Lost in Qolora’ serves as a reminder of R.E.A.L Schools’ practice and philosophy in providing quality, balanced education that goes beyond mere academic results. The performing arts, along with a host of other unique extracurricular activities and school events, play a vital role in fulfilling R.E.A.L’s mission of transforming lives and communities.