An Unforgettable Theatrical Extravaganza
On the 8th and 9th of September 2023, Jakarta bore witness to an awe-inspiring theatrical performance that left the audience mesmerized. This grand spectacle paid homage to the legendary story of Laksamana Malahayati and unfolded at the heart of Central Jakarta, in Graha Bhakti Taman Ismail Marzuki. The event drew substantial attention, thanks to the presence of illustrious dignitaries, including the Chief of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), the Chief of the Indonesian Navy (KASAL TNI), the revered Wali Nanggroe (traditional leader of Aceh), and the Acehnese community.
Laksamana Malahayati: The Pioneer Female Admiral of the World
Bringing Forth a Heroic Saga
The theatrical production transported the audience deep into the heroic odyssey of Laksamana Malahayati, an extraordinary woman who etched her name in history as the world’s very first female admiral. Hailing from the Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam during the 16th century, she played a pivotal role in the relentless struggle against Dutch colonialists. Under the indomitable leadership of Malahayati, the formidable Inong Balee warriors emerged—a unit comprised of over 2,000 courageous widowed women who were also revered war veterans. Together with Inong Balee, Malahayati achieved a momentous victory over the Dutch figurehead, Cornelis de Houtman.
A Collaborative Triumph on Laksamana Malahayati Show: Jalasena and the Indonesian Navy
An Integral Part of the 78th Anniversary Celebrations of the Indonesian Navy
This theatrical masterpiece served as a central element of the celebrations commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL). The splendid collaboration unfolded with the Jalasena theater community working in tandem with the Indonesian Navy. Furthermore, the event enjoyed wholehearted backing from the Aceh provincial government through the Aceh Government Liaison Office (BPPA) located in Jakarta. The BPPA played a pivotal role in disseminating information about the event and extending invitations to influential figures of Acehnese origin.
Praises Overflow from the Wali Nanggroe of Aceh
Witnessing Heroism and Extending Applause
In this grandiose affair, His Excellency Wali Nanggroe Aceh Malik Mahmud Al-Haytar graced the event as a prominent witness to this mesmerizing artistic spectacle. He did not hesitate to shower accolades upon the valiant women. “We aspire for this endeavor to instill a profound sense of patriotism, particularly among the youth of Aceh, much like the example set forth by Laksamana Malahayati,” he fervently expressed.
Igniting the Flames of Perseverance
The performance was meticulously crafted to kindle the flames of perseverance, nurture patriotism, and inspire unwavering determination—a reflection of the very qualities exemplified by Laksamana Malahayati. “So that our descendants comprehend the struggles of their forebears—those resolute and tenacious Acehnese women who gallantly stood against the forces of colonialism,” he added with earnest aspiration.
Distinguished Luminaries in Attendance
On the inaugural night of this grand spectacle, the occasion was graced by several distinguished luminaries, enhancing the overall festive ambiance. Among them were Admiral TNI Laksamana TNI Yudo Margono, the 11th Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, Boediono, along with the Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy and the Chief of the Indonesian National Police (Kapolri). The cast members who took center stage in this production contributed significantly to the evening’s triumph. Marcella Zalianty, who wore the dual hats of producer and lead actress in the narrative, Arswendi Bening as Sultan Aceh, Cut Mini as the mother of Laksamana Malahayati, Teuku Rifnu Wikana as Malahayati’s husband, and Aulia Sarah as Cut Limpah—all delivered remarkable performances. Meanwhile, the theater director, Iswandi Pratama, with artistic direction by Jay Soebijakto and production leadership by Toro Arto, succeeded in crafting an awe-inspiring and indelible theatrical experience.