AFTER a 10-year-hiatus from theatre, award-winning actor Que Haidar (Zombie Kampung Pisang, Castello, Cinta and Setem) is ready to strut his stuff and belt out a song or two in the poetry-drama musical Primadonna: Perahu Mimpi (Primadonna: The Vessel Of Dreams).
Although Que may have left the theatre scene over a decade ago, he admits that his engagement in the production was due to his wife, dance choreographer Linda Jasmine’s, persistence. Linda’s company – Linda Jasmine Performing Arts Studio – is presenting the musical.
“It was my wife’s request, so it was pretty hard to turn down the offer. You can say I was ‘forced’ into it’,” quipped Que, whose real name is Tengku Iskhan Shah Tengku Haidar, in an interview recently.
While Que’s participation in theatre may seem like a walk down memory lane, he says that returning to theatre – particularly a musical – has its fair share of hurdles.
“Having to act, sing and dance is no easy feat. The other cast members have been working tirelessly to ensure the musical hits the right chord with the audience.
“I have been feeling the pressure and need to pull up my socks to ensure the musical is smooth sailing,” said the Johor-born actor, whose theatre credits include Hamlet, Ribut, The Importance Of Being Earnest and Look Back In Anger.
Perahu Mimpi, by playwright Rahimah Muda, chronicles the liberation of women and how to strive for confidence and success. It is about a woman named Primadonna who sets up a halfway home for abused and abandoned women. In the musical, Que plays the carefree Walid who leaves his family after realising his child is handicapped. Leading the cast are Emelda Rosmila and Hady Tahir.
The musical, directed by Zamri Pangat, is a collaboration between Pride Foundation, Malaysia Tourism Centre and Jabatan Kebudayaan dan Kesenian Negara.
The musical hopes to raise RM10,000 for Pride Foundation – a charitable body that aims to create awareness on breast cancer.
So, is Que feeling the jitters? “I may be nervous but I’m putting that aside as the musical is being staged for Pride Foundation and is in support of women’s confidence and liberation,” said the award-winning actor who garnered Most Promising Actor for his role in Castello at the 19th Malaysian Film Festival in 2006. – Sheela Chandran
? Primadonna: Perahu Mimpi will be staged from June 22 to 26 (8.45pm) at Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall, Malaysian Tourism Centre, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Tickets are priced at RM80 and RM100. For details, call 03-4270 1777 or search for Linda Jasmine Performing Arts Studio on facebook.com.