By: Rosli Mansor
IPOH – The performance of the royal theatre production Hikayat Segenta Alam (HSA) at the Auditorium of the Perak State Arts and Culture Department (JKKN), has undoubtedly revived the nation’s cultural treasure that has been increasingly neglected.
Tickets for the three-day performance of HSA, starting from June 4th, 5th, and 6th, 2023, were reported to have unexpectedly sold out. Previously, classical theatre was not an easily captivating form of entertainment, especially among the younger generation.
The director, Datin Anne Zahurin, who is also the Chairperson of the Moraza Negeri Perak Heritage Royal Theater Organization, stated that society has now begun to embrace theatre once again as a form of family entertainment.
“This theatre production was previously staged in 2016, and theatre enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating its return, with a more powerful performance and an aesthetic presentation of classical royal theatre.
“The positive reception towards the royal theatre has not only been among local audiences but also attracted spectators from Singapore to witness this performance.
“We indeed have plans to take this royal theatre production beyond Perak, for example, to the state of Pahang and possibly to our neighbouring country, Singapore. However, it depends on the funding that will be obtained to realise this dream,” she told Ipoh Echo.
HSA theatre brings a story from the era of Sultan Mansur Shah II’s reign in Perak. The narrative revolves around the main character, Panglima Segenta Alam (Megat Terawis), on a mission to rescue Tuanku Sultan’s daughter, Puteri Limau Purut, who is held captive by the Sultan of Aceh.
This two-hour and fifteen-minute theatre production is divided into seven acts, including musical performances by extra-turns as interludes during the transitions between the two acts.
Hisham Yusof, 45, one of the audience members, described the royal theatre performance of HSA as the best he has ever witnessed.
“It has been quite some time since we last witnessed a royal theatre performance. Tonight has been truly exhilarating for me and my wife. The theatre is one of the forms of entertainment from the past that should be preserved because it carries many valuable teachings and reflects the beauty of the Malay heritage.
“There should be more royal theatre productions, especially those with elements from Perak so that the younger generation can learn about the history that has so far only been accessible through books,” he said, dressed in traditional Malay attire.