Just came home from the one-and-only performance of Berlian Ajaib, a new wayang kontemporer play created by Ki Catur Kuncoro (puppeteer and director and script writer), Toro (puppeteer and puppet maker), Pak Clink (aka Ign Sugiaro) (lighting designer), Yenu Ariendra (composer) and Andy Seno Aji (scenic designer) - based on the underground comic art of Eko Nugroho. I played a small role as a puppeteer, and also contributed in small ways to the production's dramaturgy.
The audience at Cemeti was young, warm, enthusiastic and absolutely packed the art gallery. Some of the dramatic things we worked on in rehearsal (all of 4 days!) worked less well than anticipated, but the audience roared with laughter at even the smallest of jokes - and was particularly appreciative of Toro's broad humour as mime and puppeteer. The composer Yenu commented that aesthetically it was 'jelek' (ugly) - many aspects were very rough indeed, which was related to a lot of costumes and scenic elements being added at the last minute. However Yenu pointed out that this roughness was redeemed by the humour and warm atmosphere (including free snacks at the end, a dj for an after-show party that included many in the audience etc).
The show was previewed in The Jakarta Post and will be reviewed in Koran Tempo (next Thursday) and covered by Metro TV in both their English and Indonesian language news shows.
The show's producer s Alia Swastika is looking into ways to develop this into a community project - focusing on panti asuhan (orphanages) - with workshop participants creating their own puppets and/or stories.