Komunitas Salihara once again hosted an exciting play titled “Amangkurat Amangkurat” on 29 – 30 July 2017. Written by Goenawan Mohamad, the theater took Javanese historical era as the background. The story centers around Amangkurat, a king whose power and reign were challenged by continuous uproar to usurp his position in Mataram empire. He had two wives who gave birth to princes who are destined to change the destiny of the kingdom. Ratu Kulon gave birth to Raden Rahman with his title Adipati Anom and later titled as Amangkurat II while Ratu Wetan gave birth to Raden Drajat with his title Pangeran Puger. Amangkurat was a ruthless ruler, who was known to force his people to build a castle for him. He also had bad relationship with his two sons. Under his reign, Mataram empire was never at peace with continuous conflict within his family. Adipati Anom in particular was never his favorite child, since the king killed his beloved grandfather and resulted in deep rooted vengeance while the prince was growing up. To make it worse, both parties liked the same woman and added more fuel to their strained ties.
The play which was adapted from the story told on ancient literature, Babad Tanah Jawi interpreted the family feud that happened between a father and his son. The never ending hostility between these two was made into a 90-minute theatrical show directed by Iswadi Pratama. Veteran actor, Slamet Rahardjo Djarot acted as Amangkurat senior and Eduwart Manalu played the role of Amangkurat II. We enjoyed the whole show as the plot slowly unfolded and reached the climax. The director and the actors in this theater performed historical story with such lightness and unlike many play which inserted a lot of metaphorical elements, “Amangkurat Amangkurat” chose to be straightforward. The play of lighting, silhouette and movement made a supposedly erotic scene looked artsy and elegant. If you never adjust to how theater differs from film, you might think that the duration for this play was rather too long. Some parts were dragging and it should be shortened, in our opinion. Other than that, we never thought that we would take pleasure in watching historical theater like this one!
Credit to: Witjak Widhi(Komunitas Salihara)