The Star : 13 August 2015
Peter Pan fighting off Captain Hook and the pirates
TAKE the first star on the right, and straight on till morning!
And there you will find Neverland, where 49 Sri Kuala Lumpur Primary School children aged 10 to 12 put on their best show of Peter Pan.
Enthusiastically singing, dancing and acting their way through the magical tale, the stage adaptation involved months of planning and practice for the cast and crew.
Taking the role of Captain Hook very seriously, Mustaqim Mubashir, 10, rehearsed frequently on his own to perfect his character.
“I watched the movie six times to learn how to play this role.
“I have to be cruel and wicked and funny all at the same time,” he said.
Cast as the mischievous boy that never grows up, Faris Imtiyaaz Cross, 10, said he was honoured to play Peter Pan.
“He never grows up! I really like that, I don’t want to grow up either.
“I can relate to his character too.
“Peter Pan is boastful and sometimes conceited, I’m like that too,” he said cheekily.
For Keisya Rae Dasiuk, 11, playing the role of Wendy was a fair challenge.
“Wendy is a very joyful character and I am a lot like her.
“At first, I found it quite difficult to perform on stage because I was afraid others would make fun of me, but then I decided not to pay attention and did my best,” she said.
As jingling bells followed her quiet fairy strides, bubbly Caitlyn Tan Wan Ching, 11, was a perfect match for the role of Tinkerbell.
“I only have 10 lines in total.
“I love being the silent character because I don’t have to memorise a lot of lines.
“Usually, I just use bells, jingles and my facial expressions just like Tinkerbell.
“I also can improvise based on other character’s acting, so it’s quite easy,” she said confidently.
Following auditions in January this year, play director and drama teacher Jasinta Selvam, 32, said practices were were held thrice a week since February.
“The greatest challenge is getting them to be focused and disciplined to work together as a team.
“Some of the children have the interest but lack the skill and others suffer from stage fright.
“But drama remains the best platform in helping children build their self confidence,” she said.
The annual event was also charity-oriented.
All proceeds from its ticket sales went to three charitable organisations namely JUST Children Sdn Bhd, Beacon Life Training Centre and Siddharthan Care Centre.
Three individual donations also went to Rayyan Seif Rizqin Mohd Shukor, who suffers from a life-threatening condition known as HLH, Norlela Hakim, wife of a former Sri KL school guard who is now widowed and a single mother help with essay to two children, and Thoong Jun Wai, from Kulai, Johor, paralysed from the waist down following an accident.
The charity musical proved beneficial not just to those receiving aid, but also to the students who put on their best act.
Sri Kuala Lumpur Primary School principal Dr Tan Khun said he hoped the RM50,000 production would set a benchmark of quality school drama productions.
“This year marks our 10th school play and we are setting a new standard.
“For the first time, we are using LED screens as a backdrop.
“Initially, our teachers would spend many weeks building sets, painting backdrops and creating props.
“This is also the third year we have children under 12 to sing and I am very impressed by their performance.
“It is with the training by our dedicated team choir, music and drama teachers that we are able to make this happen,” he said, beaming with pride.