Wedhus Gembel

“extraordinary visual and physical theatrical experience” –


Wedhus Gembel is a spectacular cross-cultural collaboration between Snuff Puppets and independent artists from Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Part ritual, part performance, Wedhus Gembel explores tensions between traditional and contemporary Indonesian life and mythology.

The show is a parable about the cycle of life, the destructive power of nature and the nature of duality; from destruction, there is creation, from chaos there is harmony.

Wedhus Gembel tells the age-old story of a young couple who wish to have a child. The couple prays and makes offerings to the sacred mountain. Eventually, their prayers are answered. A baby appears from the fiery volcano and is welcomed by the couple but its grotesque appearance terrifies the villagers. Strange things begin to happen in the village …

“Wedhus Gembel is an affirmation of the power of cross-cultural collaboration. The creation of the production began in 2009, a unique experience that took Snuff Puppets deep into the amazing artistic, cultural and mystical life of Java. Together we created this large scale spectacle with a mountain that volcanically erupts, a monster that devours the whole cast, magical singing, trances, classical and contemporary puppetry, mask and dance theatre.” – Andy Freer, Snuff Puppets’ Artistic Director

VIDEO from Wedhus Gembel tour of Indonesia in 2011


Each performance season of Wedhus Gembel includes a 2-day workshop with Snuff Puppets and Indonesian artists working with local artists/community to create new public performances, directly engaging local communities in the performance of the show.

For Presenters
Venue: Outdoors – public squares, plazas, parks, amphitheatres

Production History
2014 Darwin Festival – Darwin, Australia
2014 World Theatre Festival – Brisbane Powerhouse, Australia
2013 Festival De Artes Escenicas De Lima – Lima, Peru
2013 Fed Square – Melbourne, Australia
2011 Jogja International Performing Arts Festival – Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2011 Jogja International Street Performance Festival – Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2011 Asia-Tri-Jogja Festival – Yogyakarta, Indonesia
2011 Java Tour – Merapi Village, Tegal, Indramayu, & Jakarta, Indonesia 


Wedhus Gembel was supported by the following organisations