REVIEW: Gayatri the Royal Queen Consort of the Majapahit Kingdom | 7evenotes

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Reviews, Theatre

Aug 6-30 | On Demand | Fringe Player | Get Tickets

A kingdom overturned, a nation on the brink of destruction, and a Princess on a mission to seek out the mysteries of her ancestory.

Having witnessed her parents rule destroyed Princess Gayatri sets out on a journey to preserve her father’s legacy and learn more about the world she will be destined to become a part of.

This fascinating production has been developed from the Nagarakertagama manuscript, a document that has aided historians in understanding past events in Indonesia with a focus on the Majapahit Kingdom. This text is so important it has been designated a ‘Memory of the World’ by UNESCO.

Mia Johannes has taken this and used it to create a beautiful musical tribute, seeped in the traditional form of Indonesian Opera and dance. By premiering this event at the Edinburgh Fringe she has (for me at least) immediately created an interest in exploring and preserving the historical legacies of Indonesia.

By filming this theatrical spectacle, she also takes the story to the next level using film techniques, like slomo dancing or overlaying the silhouette of the narrator which would either be incredibly difficult or simply not possible in the theatre.

A stunning story and artform which I’ve never really experienced but am now desperate to see more!

The Arts Business Top Tips:

  • Preserving traditions and legacies can be a great starting point for creating work. By taking documents like these in the UK, protecting local stories and traditions that may otherwise be forgotten is a sure-fire way to create funding eligibility, whether through The Arts Council, Heritage funding, local councils or other smaller funding bodies.
  • When filming theatre is the only option the producer has thought about how to best optimise the new platform to enhance the performance, like how in post-production the princess is the only character seen in colour is an element that would not be achievable in such a simple way in a traditional theatre setting but redirects the focus of the action on film.