Lenong Preman

Lenong consists of two types. The first one is called Lenong Denes, the second one is Lenong Preman (Thugs). Lenong Preman is the opposite of Lenong Denes. Called Preman because the use of everyday’s language and costumes. In addition to bringing home-themed plays, Lenong Preman often performed heroes-themed plays also, so it’s often called Lenong Jago. The stories about heroes generally performed are: Si Pitung, Jampang Jago Betawi, Mirah from Marunda, Si Gobang, Pendekar Sambuk Wasiat, Sabeni Jago Tenabang, and others.

Lenong Preman uses Betawi language and dialect in its performance, resulting in direct connection between players and spectators. Many viewers give spontaneous responses to players and vice versa. Dialogues in the Lenong play are generally spontaneous. In fact, players are often free to explore the show area. For instance, a player can approach an audience and has conversation with him/her in the middle of the arena. In other words, viewers are part of the show’s properties. Element of arts that are also stand out in the Lenong Preman show are the art of punch (silat martial art) and pantun (poem).

In the very regular and traditional Lenong Preman shows, changes of rounds are always marked and determined by songs. Similarly, scene changes are marked by stage’s background changes. For example, when the scene turns into a scene at home, the screen or stage’s background will change into a screen picturing a home, and so on.