Ola Bola tale to be turned into musical

'Ola Bola the Musical' producer and director Tiara Jacquelina, with 'Old Bola' director Chiu Keng Guan. — Sunpix by Shahrill Basri
A scene from 'Ola Bola'.— Astro Shaw
A scene from 'Ola Bola'. — Astro Shaw
'Ola Bola the Musical' producer and director Tiara Jacquelina (back row, centre) with 'Old Bola' director Chiu Keng Guan (back row, third from right) and 'Ola Bola the Musical' crewmembers and trick footballers. — Sunpix by Shahrill Basri

THE 2016 Malaysian football film OlaBola, which was directed by Chiu Keng Guan, was a huge success, gaining positive reviews from both critics and fans, as well as collecting more than RM16 million at the box office.

The film is loosely based on the Malaysian national football team that successfully qualified for the 1980's Olympic Games.

Well, good news for fans of the film - we have not heard the last of OlaBola.

It was announced today that OlaBola will soon be turned into a musical theatre production, entitled OlaBola the Musical.

The musical will be produced by Tiara Jacquelina through her company Enfiniti, which has produced other successful musical productions such as Puteri Gunung Ledang the Musical, P.Ramlee the Musical, and the recently concluded Mud: Our Story of Kuala Lumpur, which had a three-year run at Panggung Bandaraya.

A renowned actress herself, Tiara will also be making her directorial debut with OlaBola the Musical.

When asked why she choose to produce a musical based upon the football-themed film, she said: "I did not choose the project, the project chooses me instead."

She had watched the film twice, and felt that Chiu had crafted a beautiful and inspiring movie.

"The film deals with themes of dedication, hard work, perseverance and unity," she said.

"Those are my favourite subjects. In that era, Malaysia did not have the tallest building like the Petronas Twins Towers, or the national car, the Proton Saga, yet. But we had a big dream to enter the Olympics.

"I am hoping the musical will capture that psyche. I like to do projects that inspire the nation and my audience."

Tiara is aware that expectations are high for her to present a musical that will live up to the successful film.

"I worked best under pressure," she says.

"I love turning nervous energy and pressure into something positive."

Tiara will be working with acclaimed music director Saiful Ridzuan, award-winning set designer Raja Malek, composer Mia Palencia, and rapper Altimet on the project. She will be co-writing the script with director Shamaine Othman.

This ground breaking musical will be the first production to be staged at the newly renovated Istana Budaya from Feb 22 to March 22, 2018.