by Erry Berry
On 27 November 2016, “Istana Keadilan”, work of Taufik Al-Hakim, was played as a theatre performance at the Main Hall of Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS(UTP) by the Tronoh Theatre Shop. Taufik Al-Hakim is an author who has written a few titles and “Istana Keadilan” is one of them, translated by Nahmar Jamil and edited by Dr. Shark for the play. The directors Aizuddin Rosli and Dr. Hakim Wirzal have set up a magnificent play showing the true worth of the author’s work.
The story takes place at the time when the country is still ruled by the monarchy and the queen have absolute authority. The scene is done in the throne room where it is made like a courtroom. The props used in the performance are highly refined and complete with the queen’s throne; it even looked like the actual throne of the past. The props greatly helped the audience to immerse themselves deeper into the story with the detailed work of the designer.
The story started with a minister telling the queen about the complaints given towards him by some of the citizens who are discontent with the behaviour of the ‘Memanda’(Minister) which have given great troubles for them. The queen conducted a court session with the complainers as an excuse to put justice into place but in truth saving the ‘Memanda’ from trouble.
The queen kept bending the truth using undeniable excuses and her authority as the queen to help the minister get out of trouble. Complaints after complaints were directed towards the ‘Memanda’ but the queen used her authority and truth bending technique to punish the complainers. In the end, the ‘Memanda’ got away with the trouble he had caused with the help of the queen. The stage darkens while the queen and the ‘Memanda’ laughed away.
The act became alive by the main character, The Queen, played by Qistina Zamri with her confidence and loud voice and supported by three people who puts the comedic touch to the show which is the ‘Memanda’ acted by Aizuddin Rosli and two executioners, played by Danish Zabidi and Muazd Nadzri. The other actors and actresses played as those who complains to the queen to obtain justice. The actress Zarifah Jalok as the Duck owner, Afiq Ammar and Narissa Sophea as the husband and wife, Syazwin Kamarul as the dancer, Khidhir Yahaya as the ‘syeikh’ ,and Aizat Mahpop as the farmer’s son.
The actors and actresses were dressed wonderfully with great and accurate details of their role. The colours and design of their wear fitted perfectly with their characters, enhancing their characters’ personality to a greater height. The makeup artist has done a great job on the makeup, making some scenes looks very realistic i.e. perfect paleness of a sick and hurt person.
Indirectly, the performance conveyed great moralities to the audience, placing emphasis on the concept of justice. There’s also the loyalty showed by the wife and the husband towards each other even though the queen tried to make them break off. The farmer’s son also showed the importance of being smart in debating as he got to escape from the punishment issued by the queen to him.
In conclusion, the show was exhilarating to watch with exciting moments here and there. The comedic touches to the seriousness of the story also kept the audience glued to the stage.The great use of the whole stage is really good in helping the audience to immerse themselves into the story. The show is all in all great, inspiring, and motivating.