God is in the Details

Friday October 26, 2007


P Ramlee the musical: courtesy of NST

I love John Simm. I love Life on Mars. But I imagine, if I ever were John Simm/Sam Tyler’s subordinate, I’d go insane from half admiration and half irritation with his cryptic ways and his incessant repetition of his beliefs. Like that one episode where Sam Tyler kept repeating to himself “God is in the details”. I’d want to smack him as his subordinate.

But in watching “P Ramlee the musical”, that was all I could repeat to myself. “God is in the details”. P Ramlee the musical is produced by the same people who made Puteri Gunung Ledang the musical. As some of you know, I wasn’t too crazy about PGL although, I do think it’s mostly due to Tiara Jacquelina. But that’s another story for another day. This is about P Ramlee the musical.

I had a fair bit of trepidation before watching P Ramlee. I adore P Ramlee, absolutely love him. I have seen a chunk of his movies and sung most of his songs. He was essentially larger than life, and I was not sure if anyone could pull him off. But I was excited as well because Siti Nurhaliza was performing. And Siti can do no wrong in my eyes. I’d go gay for her.


No amount of Siti could have made up for the farce that was P Ramlee the musical. It was a long musical, about 3.5 hours long and to sum up my experience, it was one of the most tedious experiences I’ve had in theatre. I kept wishing it would just end and put me out of my misery. Felt a bit like JD in Scrubs, where he imagined himself in a noose as a chick kept rambling on about herself in the bar. Except this was me in Istana Budaya with a noose as Sean Ghazi played Sean Ghazi (not P. Ramlee…that man wasn’t there that night) and the actors wore mismatched clothes from various eras. It wasn’t as bad as Chess the musical, but granted, that was done by a bunch of inexperienced high schoolers who mumbled through the lyrics and stumbled through the dance steps.

My favourite part of the musical had to be this: the set. The set was bloody fantastic, and certainly comparable to some of the West End musicals I had seen. Incredibly creative and ostentatious, in a good way! I utterly loved it.

But it’s terrible to think that if the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee was still around, he’d probably made this musical a smashing one. It says a lot about our entertainment industry that in 2007, we can’t even compare to a man whose golden era was in the 1950s.

Since I have so many problems with the musical, I thought I’d break it up into points on what I thought was flawed about the musical if you’re still interested. Or you could stop knowing that it was a terrible experience (if you’re still reading that is. I know how I tend to ramble on my blog). The rest of the critique is on my LiveJournal (which I really ought to revive).

Click here to read the rest of the review.

But that’s just me. I have an insane desire to listen to some P. Ramlee songs now, because I feel so, so cheated. For those of you who had watched it, what do you think?

Posted 10/26/2007 at 10:11 PM

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