As the stage was being prepared by the crew of MILE Committees, the crowd increased as the night went by. Not long after, the entrance to Main Hall was crowded as the queue didn’t seem to get any shorter as more and more guests came to join in the show. Among them were members of Melaka Theatre Group (MTG) who were one of the main sponsors of MILE DRAMA: The Lion King.
It was delightful to see people of different ages waiting in queue, excited to watch the drama. Be it young toddlers, or elderly individuals. However, despite the slight delay in ticketing and crowd control outside, there was a great surprise waiting for us inside, behind the curtains.
As guests entered the Main Hall, we could see show lights being placed in the centre and at the back of the hall. A refreshments station was prepared at the back selling popcorns and beverages. Around 15 minutes passed 8 pm, it was already full house. Once the crowd reached its peak, the emcee, Roxanne (1 of the 3 co-directors) welcomed the guests with a heart-warming speech and a few house-keeping rules before the play.
The crowd cheered as we witnessed the amazing props prepared by the drama crew, the theme music of Lion King was playing in the background which brought back nostalgic vibes to the crowd. Each character had their own distinctive and beautiful costumes.
One by one, each scene introduced the characters who were not alien to most of us, such as the majestic Mufasa, the main antagonist; Scar, the happy-go-lucky Timon and Pumba with their motto which we all grew up with; Hakuna Matata, lovely Nala, wise Rafiki, annoying Zazu and charismatic Simba.
"Can I order a delivery?"
Throughout the fantastic play, the audience present experienced from laughing out in joy to the jokes and puns to the melancholic environment as Mufasa died to save Simba, it was a roller-coaster of emotions. Besides that, a deep philosophical moment was felt as Rafiki advised Simba about escaping from his dreadful past. To quote Rafiki, “Yes, the past hurts, but you can choose to either run away from it or face it.”
No doubt, the play managed to touch each of our souls and feelings because each character regardless of how major or minor their role is, were involving themselves in their character, expressing their characters’ personalities through facial expressions, body language, their lines, etc and putting on a terrific drama experience for everyone present judging from the expressions, cheers and reactions of the crowd, it was definitely not easy to pick out their favourites. However, every actor carried out their roles well and everyone present there would have agreed so.
There were indeed certain technical hiccups where some portable microphones paused on its own thus the dialogues were stuck bit by bit. Sometimes the microphones worked at the perfect time and sometimes at the most inopportune time. Well, some things are just beyond our control, one can only do so much. Although having minor technical errors, the astonishing performance definitely outweighed the errors.
One of the most memorable and favourite scene for many would be the scene where Simba saw the reflections of Mufasa after meeting Rafiki, this scene was pulled out with an incredible stunt where Simba was on the stage and he looked upwards to the ceiling of Main Hall, as the spotlights pointed to where Simba was looking and there he was, Mufasa standing proudly at the highest point in the small gap of the Main Hall terrace. Mufasa was only inches away from the ceiling. This was when Mufasa said his famous line, “Remember who you are!” That scene was most definitely jaw dropping.
The play had ended leaving all of the audience in awe. While some exited the hall, many were rushing to the stage to take pictures with the actors in their costumes. We managed to interview and received a few feedbacks from the crowd.
One of the audiences who was a former Mile member involved with Mile’s previous dramas/plays mentioned that Lion King was certainly a better play. However, he added that the transitioning of scenes took quite some time.
Another guest commented that the ticketing counter and entry weren’t managed well as it was crowded with people entering and exiting at the same time. The surrounding was strenuous especially for elderly guest.
Furthermore, a student commented that she had difficulty identifying who were the floor crew as they were neither wearing a committee shirt nor a committee tag that could differ them from the guests. Other than that, the audience were very happy with the play.
In a nutshell, we all had a great time. The play brought back all of our childhood memories. The total turnout was around 400+. Kudos to the director, Karam Tabba, his co-directors and the rest of the team. Well done MILE!