COMEDY OF CLOWNS IN WAYANG KULIT KELANTAN PERFORMANCES

Authors

  • M. Dehghanharati PhD candidate of drama at cultural center of University Malaya- Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia
  • G. S. Yousof Professor, supervisor and researcher at cultural center of University Malaya- Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4314/jfas.v10i2s.55

Keywords:

Pak Dogol – Wak Long – wayang kulit Kelantan – comedy – Bergson

Abstract

Pak Dogol and Wak Long are the principle clowns in wayang kulit Kelantan (A form of Malay shadow puppet theater). The wayang kulit dalangs (puppeteer) believethat Pak Dogol is not a comic character due to his dignified background, while his companion Wak Long is mostly considered to be a clownwho plays a comic role. However, in most wayang kulit performances both clowns have some comic scenes. Therefore, in this article the comic featuresof these clowns in wayang kulit performances are investigated. For this purpose, the comedy theories of Bergson are applied to four chosen performances, namelyDewa Sayap Tunggal Descends the Earth,Missing Laksmana (performed by Pak Rahim),Independence Day and Dewek. In brief, both Pak Dogol and Wak Long have some comic element in the performances, Wak Long moreso than Pak Dogol. Most of his comic techniques are related to verbal comedy, since he does not care about hierarchy and his wordsand phrases are often unsuitable for the situations he finds himself in. In some cases, Wak Long likes to mock others, especially Pak Dogol, while Pak Dogol is tolerant of Wak Long’s insults, further reinforcing the comedy. Furthermore, the fast movement of Wak Long’s puppet makes his comic character stronger, while the slower movements of Pak Dogol’s puppet provide a contrast. Generally,their comic features are classified as movement, situation and character comedy.

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Published

2018-02-01

Issue

Section

Research Articles