The incredible story of king Bedahulu
traditional performance of Topeng padjegan
adapted and translated by Enrico Masseroli
Master I Made Djimat

In the island of Bali, theatre music and dance are the core of the enduring social and religious life, expression of a culture in which aesthetic and devotion are interlocked with astonishing harmony.

Topeng is one of the most old and popular performances, as its masks are integrated in the traditional liturgy. It is called padjegan, when only one actor, changing his wooden masks in sight, dances all the characters. Their entrance reflects the old feudal hierarchy, from the refined dances of the court, to the scurrilous gags of the fool in a very "Commedia dell'Arte" style.

This play tells the extraordinary story of the king Bedahulu, a reckless ascetic who got a pig head, singular version of a world spread myth "the cut head". Indeed it recalls one of the most significant happening in the history of the island: by the fall of his king (XIV century) Bali became a province of the Javanese empire Majapahit.

The 13 masks, the costume and the recorded music are strictly original. The translation of dialogs (in Italian, French, German, Spanish, and English… according to the audience), allows even spectators no trained in eastern theatre and the children, to follow easily the content and its plot. The free jumps into updateD and local reality reflect the real style of Topeng, as it is performed in Bali.

After is debut in 1996 The incredible story of king Bedahulu has been presented in the following years by festival in many Italian cities, in Austria, Germany, Corsica, Swiss, Sweden, Spain, Malta.

technical requirements:

Amplification system for CD, a chair and a big table, ornamental plants

A simple lightening on the stage area (at least 4 x 4 meters)

The play may be performed in every kind of indoor or open space

Duration: 70' without intermission.