Anyway, Lagenda of Holiday Villa was beginning to fill up. Our strong cable to the kitchen meant that we did have dinner of masak lomak ketam. Kakak who had had an exhausting day in her acting class was feeling quite famished. I was ready to demolish another helpless crab when I noticed a familiar figure...it was Hang Tuah himself, well, without his normal regalia. With him was his mother, whom I had met about ten years back and looking twenty years younger!
Well, what do you know! Hang Tuah aka Stephen Rahman-Hughes was there with family and friends to celebrate his 37th birthday. Atok immediately turned paparazzi – how can we miss this wonderful opportunity!
Stephen Rahman and Kakak and her minder.
I didn’t watch Puteri Gunung Ledang the musical but I have heard a lot about it. Stephen Rahman was of course a familiar name well before he morphed into Hang Tuah because he had played Akaash in Bombay Dreams. I watched Bombay Dreams three times but it was always not Stephen Rahman in the lead role. Oh well! I spoke to him on the phone about a possible interview but never got round to meet up with him, until that evening on his 37th birthday!
After the huge success of PGL, Stephen Rahman hung his Taming Sari and is now back in
playing Detective Inspector Vikesh Dasan in the TV series Emmerdale Farm! London
But I was more interested in catching up with his lovely mother who came to the
in the late sixties. It was time for a mother to mother talk. Apart from dying to know how she still looks good, I was also anxious to know how she felt when she saw her son , born and bred in UK , on stage as the legendary Hang Tuah. Wales
“I cried, I cried!” she said when Stephen appeared in his full Laksamana Hang Tuah costume and spoke his lines in Malay.
“I know, I know,” I empathised, remembering the time I saw my daughter Rehana, as puteri ke
in her pari-pari costume, dancing the Ulit Mayang. lima
Stephen Rahman’s Malay was then as good as my daughter’s first few steps of the Lenggang Mak Limah. Born and brought up in these foreign shores, they were more at ease with perhaps Shakespeare plays and as for Rehana, the belly dance! Anyway, they took the plunge and went into the deep end to have a feel of their own culture. And we as parents wept with pride. Needless to say, PGL the musical sold to packed auditoriums both in
and across the causeway! Malaysia
“When he told me about the offer to play the lead role, I told him that it was an honour and a real challenge, especially when he didn’t speak Malay at all,” said the proud mum. And Stephen Rahman proved that with his training, his discipline and determination, he could do it. And he did it.
Readers of Atok’s blogs must have known about Kakak’s acting career. She has been on stage plays playing Cinderella, Aladdin and many more. And she has just finished filming “The Golden Compass” with Nicole Kidman in the lead role. I have seen her in the King and I and looking at her now, with her obvious talent, beauty and the same determination and discipline as acquired by Stephen Rahman from acting schools here, I won’t be surprised if in ten years time, Kakak walks the stage at Istana Budaya in the lead role as Puteri Gunung Ledang. My Taufiq, in the meantime, so impressed with everything Hang Tuah during his recent visit to Melaka, had his first silat lesson yesterday. I don’t know whether he’ll make it as Hang Tuah, but by then, I’d be suitably ready and in character as Nenek Kebayan.