The LKY Musical Review : 5 reasons to watch The LKY Musical - - Singapore Lifestyle Portal

The LKY Musical Review : 5 reasons to watch The LKY Musical

 This month Lee Kuan Yew would have turned 99 if he was still around

It may have been seven years since his passing, but his memories are still very much etched in the older folks. It would be the younger generation that may forget. Save for history books, most teens and younger children may not have a direct connection to the man who founded Singapore.

This is where The LKY musical fills in the blanks for them. The LKY musical makes its second appearance since its debut in 2015 with the lead, the charismatic Adrian Pang, back at the helm as Lee Kuan Yew. However, Mdm Kwa, more popularly known as Mrs Lee, is now played by the popular songstress Kit Chan. Kit Chan is an apt replacement given her part in Singapore history as the one who sang the most popular National Day song - home. With music by Dick Lee and lyrics by Stephen Clarke.

What is THE LKY musical?

Instead of a full-blown biopic of Lee Kuan Yew, The LKY musical tells the tales of a young Mr Lee from his study days in 1941 to the day Singapore gained its independence in 1965. 

Squeezing in 25 years of history in a 2.5 hours musical can be pretty challenging. Sometimes, character development has to give way to speeding up historical events. While some may lament it, watching a 5-hour musical may not be everyone's cup of tea. In terms of pacing, we think that it is on cue for this musical.

Here are 5 reasons why you should watch the show

1 An intriguing and entertaining history lesson

Image Credit: SRT

The LKY musical is more than just a story about one man; it is the story of the birth of modern Singapore. As a history buff, I enjoyed learning about the past. For those who prefer a speed version, The LKY Musical gives you a fast pace history lesson that brings you to the age of the British and Japanese War, Malaysia's formation and the Independence of Singapore.

Image Credit: SRT

Along the way, you will learn about the atrocities of the war, the struggles to join Malaysia, friendships, betrayals, and flashes of historical events such as the Hock Lee bus riot and operation cold store that shaped Singapore's beginning. 

This is the perfect show for secondary school history students who would see what they learn coming to life on stage. It is also apt for those who have not lived through these times and have witnessed our great-grandparents and grandparents' struggles.

2 The tender side of LKY

Image Credit: SRT

The LKY Musical also delves into the life of Lee Kuan Yew during his young adulthood. The show started when Mr Lee was 18 and finishing his stint at Raffles Collage. This was also the place where he met his rival turn lover Mdm Kwa. Here the audience will witness the tender side of Mr Lee and the love both have for one another. 

Image Credit: SRT

Other touches of humanity include his faith in the British and Malaysia, with his anguish when they do not justify his unwavering faith. Perhaps this musical is also used to chink away Mr Lee's perceived armour in people's minds. While these moments of tenderness do not overwhelm the plot, it does bring a humane touch to Mr Lee. 

3 It is more than just about one man

Image Credit: SRT

In most political scenarios, the victors will be given the limelight. However, while Mr Lee and other PAP cadres such as S.Rajartanam, and Goh Keng Swee are featured, there is a balance with the anti-heroes Lim Cin Siong and Gond Swee Suan. 

Image Credit: SRT

In fact, after the show, we actually look up these characters to learn more about their history. For a show to pique the interest of the lesser known characters in Singapore's birth, it is an impressive accomplishment. 

Image Credit: SRT

The standout performances would be Adrian Pang as Lee Kuan Yew, who nailed the mannerism of Mr Lee. Kit Chan with her beautiful vocals as Kwa Geok Choo. Sebastian, Samwise like performance as Koh Teong Koo and  Benjamin Chow fiery interpretation as Lim Chin Siong.

Image Credit: SRT

4 Impressive sets

Image Credit: SRT

While the smaller MBS stage has limitations, the 3 story facade was an inspiring touch. With projected visuals and panels changing, it brings you effortlessly from the Raffles College classroom to London and various locations. 

Image Credit: SRT

The stage is as good as any world-class musicals we have seen, and we have seen quite a bit in recent years.

Image Credit: SRT

5 MajuLah Singapore

We like musicals that invoke a spectrum of feelings. We laughed at the liberal use of Hokkien and the witty explanations between a liberal, a socialist and a communist. We smiled at the romance between Mr and Mrs Lee, and we grasped when an unexpected death occurs in the show. All these happened during The LKY Musical.

One thing that pops out during the musical is the singing of the national anthem. Amazingly in 25 years, citizens of Singapore have to sing not one but 4 different national anthems. All these anthems were performed at various stages of the musical.

From the British 'God save the King' to Japanese 'Kimigay' to Malaysia' Negaraku' and finally to Singapore' Majulah Singapore. The first 3 were accompanied by scenes of despair, while the last finale was sung with aplomb and hope. We had goosebumps at the end of the show with the rousing rendition of Majulah Singapore.

Only one thing we can say to the wonderful cast of The LKY Musical and the team that bought to life this show - Aiwei and Singapore Repertory Theatre(SRT). 

Bravo, bravo, bravo!

How to get your tickets?

The LKY Musical will perform at Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands, from 7 Sep to2 Oct 2022. Limited tickets are still available from here

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