One of the highlight during our recent stay at Estadia by Hatten, Melaka is to catch Nyonya Memoirs, a revolutionary new concept and a star-studded cast which explores Melaka’s iconic Peranakan heritage through a fully-interactive live environmental theatre production.
Nyonya Memoirs ticket pricing:
RM52 (MyKad Holder) RM66 (Non-MyKad Holder)
Child (7 to 15 years old) or Senior Citizen (60 years old above)
RM26 (MyKad Holder) RM33 (Non-MyKad Holder)
Running for 3 months, premiering in May 2015, Hatten Group has invested RM8million to conceptualise, build and market this project on a massive scale. I’ve heard so much about this show that I made it a point to bring my parents here to catch it.
My parents with the boys at the set of Nyonya Memoirs.
The cause of the hype surrounding Nyonya Memoirs is its 360° cultural experience which is unlike any other. The Nyonya Memoirs set stretches across 600 metres on Level 3, from Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall to Terminal Pahlawan and is designed in the life-sized architectural style of old town Melaka where the story of a young couple unfolds.
I am very impressed with their elaborate set-up.
The innovative new concept makes us (the audience) part of the production by moving us with the characters from scene-to-scene, taking a ‘real-life’ walk down memory lane.
My favourite set is their dining room. Intricately done, the long dining table reminds me of my late Grandmother. Peranakan Nyonyas take pride in their food and the countless meals we’ve had together in her dining hall came flashing back.
Anyway back to the show, Nyonya Memoirs is a fateful tale of a young couple as a wealthy Nyonya, Bao Zhu, accepts the proposal from the love of her life, Zhang Min – a poor, common Baba. Their engagement soon turns bitter when Bao Zhu’s powerful and prominent family forbids the union. Divided by their social differences and driven to the deepest depths of heartache, can the true love between Bao Zhu and Zhang Min rise above to conquer all?
The scene at this dining hall got me teary eyed. This is where the leading casts displayed their greatest emotions; bringing the audience down and tearing together with every single tears they shed.
A scene in the kitchen. I really applaud the person in charge of the set. They really have put an eminent effort to every single detail in the set. Being an interactive production, we are allowed to mingle with the casts and grab photo opportunities with them during certain parts of the show and that I must say this is one of the engaging part of the entire show experience.
Here are some of the pictures we took on set with the casts:
My parents with the astounding Storyteller.
My mom and I with the Uncle and Aunty.
The Storyteller dropping by to say HELLO during the show.
I thought the stalls on set are just for props but some of them are actually real. This stall for instance sells Teh Tarik and here is my Dad buying a cuppa.
My Dad and his cuppa while Ayden is more interested in his bottled water from the hotel :P
And oh dear, oh dear, my Dad needs to take a leak. LoL! I tell you, my potty when I was younger looked exactly like that!
My parents and I goofing around in one of the shops.
My Dad getting a personalised reading of his palm :P
The above pictures are all taken during the show. Here’s a tip if you are planning to watch Nyonya Memoirs – there will be an interval where they’ll allow you to walk around and enjoy the set so grab that opportunity to take as many pictures as possible. Grab the casts too as they are really friendly and very obliging :D
“Anak melayu bersarung plaikat,
Anak China bersluar jowseh,
Deri jauh baik-lah dekat,
Boleh jugak menumpang kaseh.”
Peranakans love speaking in poetic form and this is one of the pantuns during the show.
The show however, is performed in Mandarin with a mixture of Peranakan dialect hence I find it difficult to truly immerse myself as I had to juggle between reading the subtitles (shown on screen) and watching the performance, depriving me of the otherwise amazing facial expressions, body languages and showmanship by the cast.
But whatever language barrier we encountered is more than make up for by the splendid performances by the amazing cast.
We came in feeling a little disorientated but left feeling all high and contented.
Last but not least, here’s us with the entire cast of Nyonya Memoirs.
I take my hats off to them for a job well done. Looking forward to more shows in the future and maybe to be conducted in Peranakan dialect perhaps? :D
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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.
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