'Bunga Penutup Abad' ('Flower That Ends a Century'), a stage play adapted from Pramoedya Ananta Toer's 'Buru Quartet' novels, will return to Jakarta on Nov. 17-18. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro)

Buru Quartet Adaptation 'Bunga Penutup Abad' Returns to Stage in November

OCTOBER 09, 2018

Jakarta. After a successful performance two years ago, stage play "Bunga Penutup Abad," or "Flower That Ends a Century," adapted from Pramoedya Ananta Toer's classic four-part novel "Buru Quartet," will get a re-run at Taman Ismail Marzuki in Central Jakarta on Nov. 17-18.

The cast will be unchanged, except for the introduction of Marsha Timothy as the matriarch Nyai Ontosoroh.

She replaces Happy Salma, who had played the forceful, Kartini-inspired character in two previous plays.

Marsha is better known as a screen actor, but starred as Ida Nasution in a stage play produced by Happy last year, a biopic of Indonesia's poète maudit Chairil Anwar, titled "Perempuan-Perempuan Chairil" ("Chairil's Girls").

A spokesman for Happy's Titimangsa Foundation told cnn.com the actress and producer had to be replaced because she just gave birth to her second child.

The original cast also included Reza Rahardian as the tragic hero Minke, Chelsea Islan as Minke's lover Annelies, Lukman Sardi as the French painter Jean Marais and Sabiar Arifin as his daughter, May Marais.

The story is adapted from the first two books in Buru Quartet, "Bumi Manusia" ("This Earth of Mankind") and "Anak Semua Bangsa" ("Child of All Nations").

It depicts the life of Nyai Ontosoroh and Minke after Annelies – Nyai's half-Dutch daughter – was forcibly removed by the Dutch colonial government to the Netherlands.

Bumi Manusia is a coming-of-age story set in Java during Indonesia’s "political awakening" period in the early twentieth century.

The story in the book follows Minke's political and romantic adventures, starting from when he was a young, naive boy of a royal Javanese family who attended an elite Dutch school to his life-changing encounters with Nyai Ontosoroh – the mistress of a Dutch man – and her daughter Annelies, who turned his world upside down.

At the helm will be Wawan Sofwan, whose credits include such critically acclaimed plays as "Mereka Memanggilku Nyai Ontosoroh" ("They Call Me Nyai Ontorosoroh"), "Monolog Inggit" ("Inggit's Monologue") and "Rumah Boneka" (an adaptation of Ibsen's "Doll House").

Happy told state news agency Antara she is hopeful the re-run of the play will get more people to read Indonesian literature.

"Pram is the one author who has been so inspirational to me. I want to show my appreciation for him by trying to get even more people to read his books," Happy said.