Traditional Malay Theatre


Traditional theatre forms of Malaysia all encompass music, theatre, dance and drama.

In the original forms much of the dialogue of the play is improvised and there were no prepared scripts used.

Most of the plays dealt with folklore and fairy tales that were passed from one generation to the next by an oral tradition.

This in fact, has led to numerous problems in terms of documentation, preservation and reconstruction of these theatre forms.

However there are researchers, though few and far between who are working in these areas.

The leading scholar of traditional theatre in Malaysia is Dr. ghulam Sarwar Yusuf widely regarded as the expert in Mak Yong, Wayang Kulit (shadow play) and Bangsawan.

Another scholar Dr. Mohammad Anis Mohammad Nor has researched Zapin and Randai extensively.

Dr. Ghouse Nasaruddin has written a book entitled “Tarian Melayu” (Malay Dance).

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