New country, new continent, and indeed the farthest destination where Smashed has taken us.
Almost a month has passed since the tour ended, and with all the members of the cast finally back home after some of them enjoyed a well-earned holiday, we look back on an amazing experience.
Organized by the British Council, we were invited to perform as part of the Art Summit Indonesia and Sirkus Sastra festivals.
Our first stop was Jakarta, where we spent a couple of days accustoming to the country and rehearsing before the first show. We did two performances at the Gedung Kesenian, a beautiful old Dutch colonial style theatre in the centre of the capital.
The first interaction with an Indonesian audience was positive and reassuring. We were unsure how they would react to the show and it was a relief to see that they enjoyed it and that the show works in spite of the cultural differences. They found humour in many of the scenes, liked the more tricksy parts and were moved by our explosive ending.
Our next destination was Yogyakarta, in central Java. At the Art Institute we taught a very well attended workshop to a group of talented music and dance students, and informally performed a series of extracts from the show.
Next we travelled to Solo where the Art Summit was going to end. Rehearsing at the Gazebo of the Art Institute with some live gamelan music being played in the background was one of my favourite moments of the tour.
We had a bit of time off as well to visit the Kraton (royal palace) and a local market where we bought an assortment of exotic and very tasty fruits.
The show in Solo was part of the closing night of the Art Summit and the audience was very excited. The performance went well and we left the stage very happy.
With the Art Summit over, we had only one more show to do back in Jakarta, this time for Sirkus Sastra, a circus themed literary festival. The performance was in a really cool theatre at Komunitas Salihara, a place that reminded me a bit of the Barbican or the Southbank centres in London, with its modern architecture and multiple levels and rooms dedicated to art exhibitions, performance, rehearsals, dining, etc.
This tour was a special occasion as well as we had some new members of the cast joining us for the first time and it was the first Smashed where Sean and Kati, the directors of the show, weren’t performing in it. It was good to see that the show evolves and it stays strong regardless, while it retains the essence and the quality of the performance.
We can’t finish these words without thanking all the lovely people we met on our journeys. The British Council and the Art Summit organizers and all the staff at the venues provided us with so much help that it would have been impossible to make this tour without them.