Yours truly :)
I went to Istana Budaya with Hubby to see Natrah (Season 2) the other day and it was really great! Credit to the director, Erma Fatima and her fabulous team who made the show a success! It was a full house that night.. Wow, what can I say? A very touching story, really awesome props, great songs (masih terngiang-ngiang di kepalaku) and powerful acting by Umie Aida (Che Aminah), Maya Karin (Natrah), Remy Ishak (Mansor Adabi), Sofea Jane (an elderly Natrah), Susan Lancester (Adeline Hertogh) and Aaron Aziz (Burhanuddin Helmy). If you're into theatre memang rugi tak pergi!
So, what is the 2-hour show about? Here's the synopsis of the story I cilok from Ticket2U:
Natrah tells a tragic story on humanity. The theatre was an adaptation from a real life story befalling a girl name Maria Hertogh. The tragedy started during the war.
Maria was a Dutch Javanese by origin. During the war, Maria’s father Sergeant Adrianus Petrus Hertogh was taken captive by the Japanese. During the hardship of the war, Maria was given to a woman named Che Aminah. Che Aminah then brought Maria to her kampung in Chukai Terengganu. Maria was raised by Che Aminah and she was brought up as a Muslim and go by the name of Natrah.
After the war, Maria’s father returned to Singapore to look for her. This is where the tragedy started. Both her natural and adopted parents claimed for her. The issue became more complicated when the religious angle was involved. Maria original family were Catholic and Natrah has been raised as a Muslim.
According to the history, the ensuing riots and chaos resulted in 18 deaths and 778 peoples were taken into custody. The tragedy became a very valuable lesson to the governments of British, Malaya and Singapore. Issues related to the religion need to be handled properly.
By the way, I only made it to the second season coz I wasn't around when it debuted last year. I loveee the story I almost wept.. I find it deeply moving, especially when Natrah was torn between the love of her foster mother and husband and their religion, and her biological parents and theirs. It's really intriguing in the sense that anyone can be in Natrah's position and not happy about it when everything is taken away from her. She was forced to commit apostasy and follow her biological parents' beliefs and lifestyles. She was, indeed, a sacrificial lamb.
All the actors and actresses were really good, but somehow too many for you to recognise who this and that is. What's funny is, why Maya Karin as Natrah? I admit that she did great and better than she was in the movies, but then again muka dia tak macam omputih pun (amidst the mixed blood origins)! But that's just my opinion, of course. Hehe. Another thing is, there were so many Natrahs onstage, it's making me confused.. but thank god for the subtitle e.g. Natrah (20), Natrah (40) etc. Loved the props!! A big ship, a nice kampung house, a double-storey building and many more! And I did catch Remy and the judge did a few slip-ups, heh, but it was a live show so what do you expect, righttt? Great job, anyways. Also, kudos to Umie Aida for portraying a great suffering when Natrah was taken away from her.. and Sofea Jane too, when she was old, sad and frustrated with everything that has happened to her. Very emotional, indeed.
|Maria Hertogh@Natrah and Che Aminah|
(read more at Nadra Tragedy)
There is a gradual build-up of suspense throughout the play, until it comes to an unexpected ending, in which I was particularly impressed with. I really like the idea of the gigantic gate and her dilemma between Islam and Christianity when she was about to die. She was miserable, and in fact, in great pain. She did die as a Christian in real life, though. It's so kesian when you were forced to do something you don't approve of or be someone you're not. I feel you, Natrah. May Allah bless your soul.
p/s: If only I can come up with a great story and superb props for my own drama team hmmm.. Eh, will I still be in charge for drama at my new school next year? :p