The Catfish and the Witch
An Old Dayak folk tale told through shadow puppetry
This show toured from 1997 – 2000 but is currently no longer available.
Once upon a time there were two sisters, who lived in a far away forest amongst the birds and animals. One day they meet a magical talking catfish and their adventures begin. Who would have thought that dear old Granny, who lived in the darkest part of the forest, might not be all that she appears as darkness creeps in…? Rosie, gentle, sweet-natured and kind, is helped by her friend the Cheeky Sparrow, but Greta, jealous, rude and greedy, isn’t so lucky…
This show was aimed at 4-11 year olds. It was based on an old folktale and used simple shadow puppets on a batik screen with a revolving hexagonal booth. It had a far away feel, introducing children to another part of the world with different values and customs. The main protagonist knows that she must be kind to the natural environment.
Performed by 2 puppeteers and 1 musician
Duration 55 mins.
Adapted from an idea by Ricky H Silalahi
Batik screen and puppets designed by Anna Ingleby
The creative team: Anna Ingleby, Heriyanto, Stephen Dirkes, Ron Reeves, Helen Evans, Aris Daryono, Clive Bell, Nina Gebauer, Neil Craig, Amy Hazeldine
This show first toured (in its earliest incarnation) in Indonesia from December 1997, where its alternative style of simple shadow theatre was a great success. At that time it was performed on a three-legged booth that was tied into place in each venue, with a pre-recorded sound track and added live music. The batik screen was rolled across for each scene.
By October 2000 the booth had been replaced with a twelve-legged hexagonal booth on castors with the batik scenery fixed around this instead. The booth then rotated so that each side of the hexagon could turn towards the audience. Lights were changed, as was the script and the vocals became completely live (in keeping with all of Indigo Moon’s shows since then) through the use of new sound equipment and a radio microphone.
Indigo Moon believes that theatre shows, like fairy tales throughout history, can have the function of touching upon dark issues in a safe and fun environment.