- POSTED: 16 Jan 2014 14:46
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Popular army-themed Singapore film "Ah Boys To Men" will get a stage adaptation in April, which will star many members of the original cast.
SINGAPORE: Popular army-themed Singapore film "Ah Boys To Men" (ABTM), which traces the lives of a group of young men as they undergo Basic Military Training, is set to get a stage adaptation.
Many of the actors from the movie, like Tosh Zhang, Wang Wei Liang , Maxi Lim and Noah Yap, will reprise their roles in "Ah Boys to Men: The Musical" ("ABTM: The Musical"), which opens on April 18 at the Resorts World Theatre.
However, Singapore band The Sam Willows' Benjamin Kheng will play the leading role of Recruit Ken Chow in the musical, replacing "ABTM" star Joshua Tan who had to pass on the role as he has his hands full with his university studies in Australia.
"I am slightly nervous! He (Chow) is such a good character, and he (Tan) is such a great guy. I really want to do it justice.
"It's a huge honour!" said Kheng at the media event for the musical on Wednesday.
"We miss Joshua, but Benjamin sings and dances well. Also, having another handsome guy join the group is always good!" said Wang cheekily.
"ABTM" director Jack Neo will co-produce the musical, which will be penned by veteran Singapore playwright Goh Boon Teck and directed by Beatrice Chia-Richmond.
Neo described working on "ABTM: The Musical", his very first theatre production, as "a dream come true".
"I was with the Music and Drama Company in the army for about eight years. I wrote skits for the performers.
"I've always loved musicals and producing one has always been a dream of mine," said Neo.
While "ABTM: The Musical" will largely follow the storyline of the film, Neo said it will be "funnier than the film", and will add a "new dimension" to the story, noting that he originally conceptualised "ABTM" as a play.
This is actually Neo's second attempt at adapting one of his films for the stage.
"I wanted to stage a musical based on 'We Not Naughty'. The script, the music, everything was done, but the investor pulled out at the last minute," said Neo.
"If 'Ah Boys To Men: The Musical' is successful, I'll consider bringing 'We Not Naughty' to the stage as well."