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Thespians from Bandung, Melbourne collaborate on 'Hades Fading'

Arya Dipa

The Jakarta Post

Bandung, West Java  /  Sun, September 1, 2019  /  03:01 pm
Thespians from Bandung, Melbourne collaborate on 'Hades Fading'

Mainteater performs 'Hades Fading' at NuArt Sculpture Park in Bandung, West Java, on Aug. 27. (ANTARA FOTO/Novrian Arbi/aww)

Bandung-based theater group Mainteater in West Java collaborated with its Melbourne chapter in Australia to stage the bilingual play Hades Fading at the NuArt Sculpture Park Amphitheater in Bandung. 

The play, which was performed from Aug. 28 to 30, told the story of a post-apocalyptic world and boasts musical interludes. It also marked the 20th anniversary of the partnership between Mainteater Bandung and its Melbourne chapter. 

Melbourne-based director Sandra Fiona said she conceived the screenplay for Hades Fading when she was undertaking a fellowship at the State Library of Victoria, Australia, in 2011.

“I thought, what if all of humanity were to vanish from the face of the earth? What would happen to stories and books housed in libraries? I tried to picture such a scenario through the remainders of humanity as it is depicted in books, videos and documents,” Fiona told the press on Monday.

She further said that she eventually finished the screenplay in 2014. However, she said she faced difficulties in trying to realize it as a stage drama since she didn’t know any theater groups. That was until she met Mainteater Bandung representatives Heliana Sinaga and Sahlan Mutjaba who were visiting Melbourne in 2017.

On stage, Hades Fading will prominently feature distinctive human vocals that underscore the story, Fiona said. 

Read also: Five prominent venues for art performances in Surakarta

“It will feature a cacophony of voices, turning the drama into a sonic spectacle,” she added.

Hades Fading takes place in a post-apocalyptic world as created by the Greek god of the Underworld, Hades (portrayed by actor Godi Suwarna). It chronicles the return of Hades’ dominion on Earth as the last vestiges of humanity take a stand against the god’s rule. 

The cast included actors Wawan Sofwan, Heliana Sinaga and Rinrin Candraresmi. Melbourne-based musicians Francisca Agustin and Ria Soemardjo provided compositions and arranged the play's music. Hades Fading was performed in English and Indonesian. 

The play will also be staged at the La Mama Theater, Melbourne, in 2020 as part of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts (Asia TOPA).

“Staging a cross-cultural production is hard. There are different approaches to producing music, lighting and also art in general,” said Melbourne-based stage producer Kath Papas, adding that the play was a unique collaboration. (rfa/wng)

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