Indonesia Expat

Status: It’s Complicated

Relationships are full of drama. And nobody brings drama across better than the not-for-profit community theatre group, Jakarta Players. This group of theatre aficionados, made up of amateurs, professionals and semi-pros from all walks of life, celebrated the opening of their 50th anniversary with a medley of short plays that remind us why we love love.

The first play was one of my favourites of the show, Time Flies by David Ives. Two mayflies – played by Yuventius Nicky Norman and Anela Metta Suyadana – are on a date ­and end up back at her place. They tune into Life on Earth, a documentary by Sir David Attenborough (the character very realistically, yet humorously played by Andrew Trigg), only to discover that they live for only one day and are set to perish at dawn. I loved the development of their relationship; their playful, flirtatious buzzing starts off very innocent, and ends in a saucy rubbing of each other’s antennae. Although funny, this play has a poignant message: don’t let time go to waste and live life to the fullest, as the two mayflies fall in love and decide to fly to Paris together before they die.

The second play was more serious in nature, The Right to Remain by Melanie Marnich, telling the story of an adulterous husband coming home to his wife and son, both of whom have been made aware of his cheating ways. Props go to David Knowles for his first class acting as the father, and his on-stage wife, Gene Sugandy’s anger and outrage was very expressive and moving.

Play three was a hilarious peek into a just-married couple on their first dance in Mr & Mrs by Julie Marie Myatt, played by Marissa Anita and David Knowles, and directed by Michael Donovan. Both actors were top notch and kudos to the direction; the cameraman with a flash in the audience, taking photos of the couple, added such humour, especially with Marissa Anita’s reactions to him. The best line of the play: the newly married wife says, “Darling, there’s something I have to tell you. I married you for your money,” received a response from newly married husband, “Well darling, I married you for your body!” A laugh-out-loud riot.

Last, but definitely not least, Check Please by Jonathan Rand, directed by Heriska Suthapa, was another one of my favourites. Who hasn’t experienced a bad first date? Two singles (Nurza Prisca and Yuventius Nicky Nurman) experience their fair share of extremely funny, extremely atrocious first dates (dates played by Maureen Simatupang, Chris Bates, Fasola and Andrew Trigg); a multiple personality disorder sufferer, a high schooler, an elderly lady, an over-eager and over-the-top slime ball, someone who just doesn’t listen, a football fanatic, a man with every phobia under the sun, a man in his bathrobe, and a mime. In the end, the singles bump into each other by accident, reminding us that sometimes to find love, you just have to stop looking.

All proceeds from this show go to Habitat for Humanity Indonesia. The Jakarta Players stage around three shows a year and hold open auditions for each one. To find out more and get involved, on stage or backstage, visit


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