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One night in Kuala Lumpur - doco captures unique music theatre project

Published:13 March 2020

When a group of Aussies and Malaysians came together to stage a musical about rival chess champions from Russia and America, two Bachelor of Digital Media students from CQUniversity Mackay were on hand to create a fly-on-the-wall video documentary.

Their half-hour video goes behind the scenes of a joint production of Chess The Musical by CQUniversity's Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music and the Bentley Music Academy of Malaysia.

It includes interviews with leads, ensemble members, backstage personnel, staff from both institutions, and director Peter Cousens.

The production may have been showcased in one night, but it involved years of lead-up arrangements by CQCM associate lecturer Nicole Thomson and Bentley Music Academy's Director of Academic and Artistic Development, Kevin Field.

Third-year Digital Media students Peter Dahms and Tylah Kinbacher had a great experience creating the video documentary.

"An opportunity like this felt like the start of more projects in this field and was an experience like no other," Peter says.

"It will encourage us both to keep creating."

Chess The Musical was created by Sir Tim Rice and Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus (of Abba fame).

CQUniversity students who took part in the production each received a New Colombo Plan mobility grant. The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government.

The CQUGlobal Outbound program allows current CQUniversity students to experience life and study in over 60 countries across six continents.