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Jakarta Post

‘Panembahan Reso’: Rendra’s scathing New Order play recreated for the new age

  • Josa Lukman

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 30 2020   /  02:30 am

Bathed in red: Panembahan Reso was first performed in August 1986, the first public work by WS Rendra after he was banned from making any public appearances until that year since his 1979 arrest.Panembahan Reso began its life in 1975, but it was in October 1985 that Rendra started writing the script, conducting a dramatic reading with members of his theater troupe Bengkel Teater whenever he finished writing a scene.Actress and director Ken Zuraida, Rendra’s widow, recalled that one time after many weeks of reading, he suddenly tore up the script and burned it. The pair then went to Bandung, West Java so that Rendra could write a new script, which was delivered scene-by-scene to his workshop in Depok.In 1986, the script was finished and Panembahan Reso finally received its moment on stage from Aug. 26 to 27 that year at Istora Senayan indoor stadium in Jakarta.More than three ...