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First ever musical on St Euphrasia in KK

ALAMESRA, Likas – First ever musical theatre on St Euphrasia, foundress of the Good Shepherd Sisters (GSS), will be coming to Kota Kinabalu on May 10 and 11, performing live at the National Culture and Arts Department (JKKN) Auditorium.

In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Malaysia, the congregation teamed up with Actors Studio Kuala Lumpur to jointly produce Euphrasia-The Musical to celebrate the life of their foundress.

It is also one of the ways that GSS is responding to the Extraordinary Missionary Year 2019 initiatives encouraged by the Pope for the faithful to meditate on the witnesses of missions through the saints and martyrs.

Speaking at the press conference Apr 2 at Youth PREP-Centre in Alamesra, Sr Joan Lopez, GSS Province Leader for Malaysia-Singapore said the musical tells the story of the courageous French saint, Mary Euphrasia Pelletier.

“Euphrasia is a very inspiring woman. She gave her entire life to making a difference. Even as a young person, she chose to help women and children who were trafficked and in situations of poverty and marginalization.

“So this is also a way to inspiring young people to choose a meaningful and purposeful life.”

The Musical, which will anticipate over 1,000 audience, will also see some of the Sabah’s biggest talents playing important roles in making the production a success.

Synonymous with the Malaysian entertainment circuit, actress and singer Nikki Palikat will be playing the titular role of Euphrasia. She talked about her reservation on taking up the role.

“At first, I was scared to take on this role because I’m used to playing the villain. But upon reading the script and Euphrasia’s biography, it became increasingly clear how human she was.

“She was full of mischief and pranks as a child, but underneath all that was a burning desire to help others, which carried through to her adulthood,” said Palikat.

Palikat was also convinced to take on the role after finding out that her ex-schoolmate, Mia Palencia, is the composer for the music production.

“I was excited when I found out that Mia was doing the music. She is a former schoolmate of mine,” she explained.

The highly talented Mia Palencia said she has composed a ‘whopping’ 34 songs for The Euphrasia Musical with her team in Australia, where she is currently based.

“This is a huge step up from the work I’ve done in the past. Having to write 34 songs in such a short time was very challenging to say the least.

“What excites me about this project is that through composing the music, I’m able to help tell this remarkable story about a very strong, inspirational woman who wanted to make a change, which she did,” she said.

Director and music director, Dominic Lucien Luk said the musical will convey the story in a modern way.

“It starts off with this character Josephine, a girl in KL, who finds out about Euphrasia. So, as she is being told the story of Euphrasia, it starts playing out in her mind. It shows the story of Euphrasia from a Malaysian girl’s perspective.

“We are giving it a bit more modern feel. The music is lively, uplifting and written in a way that our modern ears can understand,” he said.

Sr Lopez said that all proceeds from the musical will go towards Good Shepherd’s social services in Sabah and in West Malaysia, which aim to eliminate all forms of gender-based violence primarily in domestic violence, human trafficking, child marriage prevention and empowerment of women and girls.

Sr Jossie Sili, Manager for Youth Development at the Youth-PREP Centre said that the two-day show will start at 7.30pm. Audience are advised to come 30 minutes earlier as the production crew has a strict procedure to minimize distraction.

Ticket price ranges from RM80 to RM200 and can be booked at 012-2328207. Thank you for your generous support of Good Shepherd mission – Linda Edward

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