Jakarta Aquarium presents a unique show, combining theatre stage and water world. Photos by Raditya Fadilla/NOWJAKARTA

Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived in the South of Java in peace and harmony but a rival Queen full of hatred and jealousy ordered a witch to curse her and she developed a disfiguring skin disease. Sad and desperate she hears a voice telling her if she jumped into the southern ocean at midnight she would be cured. So she dives in and immediately vanishes but her spirit still haunts the Southern beaches and lures the unwary to their death.

This story is the background to one of the most phenomenal theatrical shows that uniquely combines the water world, complete with mermaids, and a theatre stage! The storyline for this show was crafted brilliantly by a famous theatre director and event creator par excellence Peter Wilson, who created this world class performance ‘The Pearl of The South Sea’ specially for the Jakarta Aquarium. The show is inspired by the myth of Nyi Roro Kidul, the Queen of The South Sea.

The Queen is an evil character, whose jealousy destroyed the princess’ peaceful life with her nasty skin disease, and this conflict inspired the most outstanding scenes in the show which always capture the audience’s total attention. The eternal war between good and evil is the most exciting story that is loved by all. But wait until you see the crabs performance, the kids just love them! They are a brilliant combination of puppets and costumes. Then if you add on the amazing mermaids, the result is a show which can easily steal the kids’ hearts!

“There is nowhere else that has a story and a show that combines the water world and with mermaids and a dry stage area” says Peter. “ I was very inspired by the story and developed it over and many months into our own legend, and that’s what we achieve in our production”.

Peter Wilson, The Show Director of Jakarta Aquarium 

Of course that was only the beginning of this challenge for Peter, next he had to find swimmers, free divers in fact, who had the ability to stay underwater for up to three minutes!

“Most people can hold their breath for 15 seconds” says Peter. “We needed divers who can give the appearance of singing underwater as well.” This is complicated by the fact that they cannot hear the music underwater so have to work from the bass vibrations of the music and by banging from the safety divers. “For the choreography to succeed we had to really nail down the timing between what happens on the dry stage and what happens in the aquarium. But we managed and finally I was able to tell this beautiful story in these two worlds.”

In making this wonderful Indonesian story, Peter had no references, no one to copy because there is nowhere in the world with a show like this. “There might be some shows in the world that have mermaids” says Peter, “but this is unique, and a really beautiful story, created to entertain and we know now that audiences love the story and the show.”

For those who have not yet seen “Pearl of The South Sea”, we will not spoil the surprise by revealing any more about the production. Suffice it to say that to have Peter as the creator and director was a serious blessing. His past credits include director of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in Sydney, and the ASIAN Games in Doha, as well as the Bali Games and the Bali Agung shows at Bali Safari Park. This is a world class performance right here in Jakarta, and yes before you ask, the princess is beautiful and the crabs are fantastic!

Jakarta Aquarium

Neo Soho LG 101 – LGM 101
Jalan Letjend S. Parman Kav. 28
Jakarta Barat, Indonesia
T : +62 21 2789 3435

NOW! Jakarta

NOW! Jakarta

The article is produced by editorial team of NOW!Jakarta