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“LightSeeker” (Revisited)

February 23, 2014
by

LightSeekerShow1 (picture courtesy of RWS)

Event: “LightSeeker” An RWS Musical (revamped version)
Venue: Resorts World Theatre @ RWS
Run: 28th Nov ’13 – 23rd Mar ’14

Light At the End of the Tunnel

Our thoughts on the initial version of “LightSeeker”, the brave new original musical conceived by RWS, were well documented in our earlier review (here).

To sum up the experience, it was puzzling and uncomfortable, with a storyline which was difficult to follow, and with characters which failed to make an emotional connection with the audience.

It left a bad taste in the mouth, because you wondered how a production with so much money thrown into it could have turned out so horribly wrong.

Well, the creative team at RWS was open enough to listen to feedback from the various reviews and comments on the show, and take a good hard look at “LightSeeker” and give it a much-needed makeover.

We all know that hit musicals are never conceived overnight.

Many of the great Broadway musicals have cut their teeth playing at off-Broadway venues for months, gauging audience reception to the various aspects of the show, deleting unnecessary scenes and adding new ones where necessary, changing songs which don’t quite work, tweaking musical arrangements, etc before the show is finally all ready to head to the bright lights of Broadway.

It’s a long and cumbersome process, and very few creative teams ever get it right the first time, if at all.

And kudos to the “LightSeeker” creative team for being humble enough to acknowledge the numerous issues with the first iteration of the show, and presenting us with a much sleeker and more enjoyable Version 2.0, if you will.

For a start, the clunky opening multimedia film sequence was completely done away with, and the musical immediately cuts straight to the opening song in the forest, setting the tone of the musical right from the onset.

This is a far more effective opening than the previous intro sequence, which was both awkward and puzzling, almost resembling a TV show opening montage.

The storytelling in Version 2.0 is far more effective too, as it carefully introduces the General’s character first, and then Usha’s character afterwards.

We are informed of the General’s objectives, as well as the inner conflict he faces in whether to be loyal to the Emperor or to embrace The Light.

Whereas the plotline in the first version was often confusing and difficult to understand, it is a much more streamlined version now, with sleeker and more efficient storytelling, making it much easier for both adults and children to follow.

The dialogue seems to also have been tightened up, and there appears to be less redundancy and crass humour as compared to the first version.

What remains largely unchanged though are the spectacular visual elements, which includes the breathtaking acrobatics and glitzy sets.

There is, however, a significant difference in the ending of Version 2.0 which changes its complexion quite a bit, and it does seem like a slightly more believable ending this time round, although I still think that the way the ending was reached was rather abrupt.

This new version of “LightSeeker” is still not without its issues, although this time round they seem to be far less severe than in the first version.

The film sequence where the spaceships take the imp prisoners back to the lair early in the first act could definitely have been shortened, and I am still adamant that the snake creature, which takes human form after performing a lengthy scintillating dance midway through the second act, could have been put to more significant use later on in the show, perhaps to present the General some form of problems during the climax scene.

But nonetheless, while “LightSeeker” Version 2.0 is still far from being perfect, it has made huge strides in the right direction by presenting audiences with a far more satisfying and entertaining journey.

Whereas the first version was almost painful to watch at times, this show is now an event which you could possibly take your family and loved ones to to have a good time.

There is light at the end of the tunnel yet.

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