Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story at the Shaw Theatre
Created in the Philippines with an international cast, Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story is a remarkable, highly romantic musical about love. The show, currently at the Shaw Theatre, is truly impeccable in every aspect, ranking highly on the list of best musicals.
During young Marco Polo’s (David Bianco) voyage from Venice to Central Asia, he meets and falls in love with princess Kogajin (Stephanie Reese), daughter of the Great Khan (Aidan Bradley). As a foreigner the only chance to marry her is for Marco Polo to become a Mongol Baron – a gruelling process. The struggle between the desire for power versus true love is a central theme. Contrary to the father, Kogajin’s mother, the Queen (Pinky Marquez-Cancio) who herself regretfully gave up her one true love for the power of royalty offers to help them escape together.
Acting and vocals are perfection in this play, as are the music, the directing, choreography, set design, lighting and costumes: all combine flawlessly. It is difficult to mention only a few of the performers, as they are outstanding, and the quality of the singing is extraordinary. The high quality musical numbers are memorable; the beautifully seamless flow of the production highlights stellar directing. The simple, visually appealing set is well chosen and artistically coherent as a theatrical element; lighting creates strong mood and drama, particularly the spotlighting of individual players. The unique piano and violin background score increases intensity and mood, and gorgeous creative, colourful costumes are one of the highlights of the work.
Some of the content, such as the subject of maintaining the “purity of the Royal Mongol bloodlines”, may be viewed as offensive by some, but the work is hardly condoning those notions. It is merely historical fact that such attitudes and social behaviours existed. The piece itself is about the importance of love in defiance of such.
A lavish, fine-tuned, exceptional production, Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story is highly recommended viewing.
Marco Polo: An Untold Love Story is on at Shaw Theatre from 5th August until 4th September 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch scenes from the making of the show here: