Esplanade Presents


Awang Batil of Perlis

Pak Romli Mahamud, PUSAKA (Malaysia)

19 May 2023, Fri, 7.45pm

20 May 2023, Sat, 7.45pm

21 May 2023, Sun, 7.45pm


(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Lawn, outside Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

This event is over.


Awang batil is a traditional form of musical storytelling found in the state of Perlis in Malaysia.


The awang batil is a solo performer who narrates his stories as he beats the batil, a brass bowl or belanga, a pot commonly used to store water. The storyteller also plays other instruments such as the violin, serunai, rebana and gendang terinai.


During the narration, the storyteller uses two masks, the Hulubalang mask and the Wak Nujum mask, when suitable characters appear in the stories to attract the audiences’ attention.


The most commonly told stories of the awang batil are Raja Dewa Lok, Raja Bersiung, Raja Berdarah Putih, Anak Lang Pak Belang, Jabat Jabit, Abu Nawas, Cerita Angan-Angan and Awang Ada Duit Semua Jadi.


The awang batil performances are usually held at weddings and evening festivities and will often continue till dawn, with some performances going on for two to five days. These longer stories are usually told when someone has personally invited the awang batil to his home, typically after the rice harvest season.

Language: Malay Northern Dialect
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Pak Romli Mahamud


About Pak Romli Mahamud

Pak Romli Mahamud is the last awang batil of Perlis. He comes from a lineage of awang batil storytellers who have passed on their legacy and stories. His late father, Mahmud Awang bin Wahid was the most famous storyteller from Kampung Pokok Sena in Chuping, Perlis. The batil that is used by Pak Romli has been handed down to him and is a relic of his father’s spirit. Almost all the instruments used were made by Pak Romli and his family before him.



PUSAKA is a cultural organisation established to conduct research and create a comprehensive archive of traditional artforms in Malaysia, while strengthening the viability of these traditions at a community level. Through curating festivals, organising regular public performances, and local instruction projects, PUSAKA supports the transmission of these performance traditions to succeeding generationswhile providing platforms that, above all, preserve the dignity and stature of the traditional performer. PUSAKA seeks to establish a deep interaction with aspects of history and contemporary ideas while illuminating and providing an intellectual context for the contemplation of broader aspects of culture, tradition and ideas.

Date & Time

19 May 2023, Fri


Esplanade Lawn, outside Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

20 May 2023, Sat


Esplanade Lawn, outside Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

21 May 2023, Sun


Esplanade Lawn, outside Singtel Waterfront Theatre at Esplanade

Become a member

Three membership cards depicting each membership tier, Discover, White and Black.

Great arts experiences begin with Esplanade&Me. Join this membership to enjoy ticket specials on shows at Esplanade, early bird specials, promotions at Esplanade Mall, unlimited access to Offstage and more.

Never miss a show again. Get on our mailing list.