The current political situation, ambition for power, ambitious rivalry and moral degradation are the background for the play Hakim Sarmin [Judge Sarmin] staged by Teater Gandrik at Taman Ismail Marzuki [TIM], Central Jakarta, on April 5-6.
Written by Agus Noor and directed by Djaduk Ferianto, Hakim Sarmin is set in a mental hospital full of judges, which makes for a storyline that is filled with humor, yet is still relevant to the country’s current political landscape.
Veteran actor Butet Kartaredjasa takes the leading role as judge Sarmin, while Susilo Nugroho plays Dr. Menawi Diparani [which literally translates into “when you are visited” from Javanese]. The plot follows judge Sarmin’s attempts at inciting a revolution in the hospital, which is hilariously exacerbated by the doctor’s inability to control his patients.
Hakim Sarmin aims to reflect today’s society, which is filled with individuals who demand justice yet never obey the law – which in itself, is a form of madness.
And “madness starts from the mind,” judge Sarmin points out.
Despite its heavy political backdrop, the play is fresh and funny. Teater Gandrik is known for conveying serious messages laced with Mataram-style humor – a trait that has ensured the troop’s tenure.