Malaya Relived: The Penang Riots - A New Musical


OPULENCE, OPALS AND OPIUM. Travel back in time with Liver & Lung’s new immersive historical musical, a sycophantic, sultry exploration of Penang Hokkien high life and the George Town gang riots of 1867.

Lady Hwang (Cheryl Tan) is anxious. Her lord has been at sea for almost half a year now and her snooping yet devoted hand-maiden, Opal (Melissa Ong), finds it increasingly difficult to soothe her nerves. There are only two things that give her peace: her unwavering devotion to the Jade Emperor and the good, profitable land in George Town that her father bestowed upon her after his death.

Things take a turn when Lord Hwang returns and gifts the Lady with a personal slave: a dark-skinned Eunuch (Phraveen Arikiah) with a prophetic disposition. The Eunuch accounts that Lord Hwang has begun trading opium and may now be working with the Red Flags, George Town’s most notorious Hokkien secret society.

Malaya Relived: Fall of Singapore

As tensions increase in Penang and as Lord Hwang leads the Red Flags to riot against the Cantonese White Flags, Lady Hwang slowly turns to the consuming ecstasy of opium. The trio must now face the difficult task of swallowing their pride, maintaining the status and land of their Great House and, more importantly, extinguishing the dark motives of their shared enemy: Lord Hwang.

Brought to life in the form of a three-act musical, the show invites you on a time-bending journey as you are given the rare opportunity to visit 19th Century George Town. Strung together with original music inspired by Chinese opera and the dulcet tones of early technicolor cinema, Liver & Lung promises a colourful journey with familiar sounds, smells and tastes. Audiences are invited to dress in their best traditional wear, enjoy the kueh and witness Malaysian history unfold before their eyes.

Malaya Relived: Merdeka

Liver & Lung is a critically acclaimed and award-winning international theatre company. Stylistic and didactic, their plays, musicals and events in London, Edinburgh and Malaysia have reached a wide audience. In 2017, their original musical, Mahsuri and Other Peculiar Tales won Malaysia’s Boh Cameronian Arts Award for Innovation in Musical Theatre. We are proudly partnering with GMBB, a retail creative hub at the heart of KL city, an exciting new ecosystem for creative growth and collaboration.

 Shafeeq Shajahan, Director of The Penang Riots

Starring Ola Bola’s Melissa Ong as Opal, KLPAC’s Norm & Ahmed’s Phraveen Arikiah as the Eunuch and Singaporean-based award winning theatre and TV actress Cheryl  Tan as Lady  Hwang, The Penang Riots is effortlessly directed and written by  Shafeeq Shajahan, alongside Ian Skatu in the role of musical director and composer.


Director Shafeeq Shajahan making a virtue of low-budget necessity by letting a bare stage flow seamlessly... definitely an improvement on the grossly overproduced Broadway version” – LondonTheatre.co.uk on Kiss of The Spider Woman

A one-of-a-kind show, highly entertaining & educational to watch!” –The Star on Mahsuri (And Other Peculiar Tales)

Shajahan showed a nuanced and intelligent direction… exhibiting a depth of talent and ensuring an emotive and layered performance that the socially incisive subject matter deserves” – The London Tab on The Wild Party





TAG