STAGE PREVIEW

All posts tagged STAGE PREVIEW

The bio-politics of relationships

Published October 3, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/The-bio-politics-of-relationships-30293902.html

STAGE PREVIEW

Three members of B-Floor Theatre, an independent performer and two actors from Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe complete the cast of “Happy Hunting Ground”. Photo/Democrazy Theatre Studio

Three members of B-Floor Theatre, an independent performer and two actors from Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe complete the cast of “Happy Hunting Ground”. Photo/Democrazy Theatre Studio

A new German-Thai theatre collaboration is ready for its world premiere in Bangkok

Bangkok’s theatregoers will no doubt have noticed the absence of multi-award winning stage director and choreographer Thanapol “Dtam” Virulhakul, a core member of Democrazy Theatre Studio, from the stage in recent months. That’s because for the best part of a year he’s been working on a transnational project “Happy Hunting Ground” which, for the first time ever, is matching theatre companies from Thailand and Germany. And that’s on top of taking his “Hipster the King” to two festivals in Tokyo and Braunschweig this year.

“[German critic and playwright] Jurgen Berger mentioned his ongoing research for a performance at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe on the topic of Thai-German personal relationships when he was visiting Bangkok Theatre Festival in late 2014,” says Dtam.

That conversion was revived a few months later when, thanks to support from the Goethe Institut and the host festival, his “Hipster the King” and “I am Thai”, was staged as part of the contemporary Thai theatre showcase at Festival Offene Welt in Ludwigshafen.

“People from the Munich headquarters of the institute got to watch my works and afterwards I was officially approached to join this project for which support had already been greenlighted by Goethe Institut. Meanwhile, Berger was continuing his research, interviewing not only Thai sex workers here but also Thai university students who had married German men and settled there and even Thai-German gay couples. The latter don’t make it to our performance though. Throughout this process, he’s been sending me his interview transcripts and I’ve been working with [German dramaturg] Sarah Israel and my assistant director Peerapol Kijruenpiromsuk.

“Initially, I was looking especially at differences in this topic. I was also thinking of post-colonialism and later on I started to look at these relationships as transnational space. For example, I regard those Thai women who marry German men and settle there as those who are seeking a better life in their marriage migration. And so in this transnational space, there is much more than sexual relationships and desires.

“Finally, I’ve found that bio-politics can explain these private relationships. In many cases, our lifestyles are determined by certain systems of power. For example, not all sex workers are doing this out of choice. Likewise, there are many other socio-economic factors, besides what’s obvious and known, why German men love visiting Thailand mainly for sex tourism.”

Dtam started turning this large amount of research information and analysis into performance last year, creating a “laboratory” at Democrazy. Once he’d settled on his cast – Jens Koch and Luis Quintana from Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Silpathorn artist Jarunun Phantachat, Dujdao Vadhanapakorn and Waywiree Ittianunkul of B-Floor Theatre and independent performer and choreographer Vidura Amranand – the development process moved to Karlsruhe. Rehearsals were held six days a week for four weeks and now everyone is in Bangkok, where they have been working for the last two weeks.

“In our ‘laboratory’, these two groups of people – German men and Thai women – are on the same mission and in the same timeframe, yet under different conditions. For example, even when they’re all office workers, different regulations apply. These don’t let the Germans work longer than a certain number of hours. I’m interested in how these conditions affect their behaviour and needs differently. I’ve found that when members of these two groups meet, they fulfil each other’s needs.”

On the other side of the coin, Jan Linders, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe’s director of drama and another dramaturg for “Happy Hunting Ground”, explains why this work is scheduled to open his theatre’s season.

“Our season motto is ‘About myth and reality’, and ‘Happy Hunting Ground’ falls precisely between cliche and truth, not only of Thai-German relationships but also of women and men in general. Besides, the time between the seasons was the only time of the year in which the performers from Karlsruhe could come to Thailand to rehearse and perform for four weeks in a row. Like most German theatres, we perform in a system of ensemble and repertory, which means that an actor rehearses in the mornings and plays a different show each night. In this process, my two actors and myself are experiencing an art form unusual for German repertory actors: |performance with a focus on the body.”

BANGKOK, BANGSANG & Europe

– “Happy Hunting Ground” premieres at Chulalongkorn University’s Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts (BTS Siam station, Exit 6) this Thursday at 7:30pm, and continues through Saturday.

– Tickets are Bt600 (Bt300 for students), at (081) 441 5718 and (081) 559 7252.

– The performance will be at Burapha University on September

6-7; then have its European premiere in Karlsruhe from September 22-24, and Bern, Switzerland from September 29-October 1.

– Find out more at Facebook.com/DemocrazyStudio and http://www.Staatstheater.Karlsruhe.de.

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Not just for kids

Published August 19, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Not-just-for-kids-30287107.html

STAGE PREVIEW

Alibabach by Companhia de Musica Teatral (Portugal)

Alibabach by Companhia de Musica Teatral (Portugal)

Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Indonesia)

Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Indonesia)

Recycled Rubbish by Theatre Rites (UK)

Recycled Rubbish by Theatre Rites (UK)

The Yellow O by Wandering Moon Theatre (Thailand)

The Yellow O by Wandering Moon Theatre (Thailand)

When All Was Green by The Key Theatre (Israel)

When All Was Green by The Key Theatre (Israel)

Yoo Dee by B-Floor Theatre (Thailand)

Yoo Dee by B-Floor Theatre (Thailand)

Parents and toddlers will also enjoy Bangkok’s first full-scale theatre festival for young audiences

Friends who have young children often ask me if there are more international stage performances for their kids to enjoy here other than “Disney on Ice”, which their kids not only look forward to but also dress up for in cartoon character costumes. Now, thanks to Arts on Location and Democrazy Studio who are joining forces in organising the first Bangkok International Children’s Theatre Festival – BICT Fest for short – I can give them a positive answer.

“We’re not saying that what’s available now is neither good nor insufficient; we’re simply offering more alternatives, the contents and creation process of which differ from the mainstream,” says Adjjima Na Patalung, founder and artistic director of Arts on Location and the brains behind the BICT Fest.

“Apart from having an impact on the audience, both children and adults, we’d also like to boost and expand relationships between foreign artists working in children’s theatre and their Thai counterparts. As a result, we hope that their works will reach a wider public and prove that there’s also art in the masses.”

For many years, Adjjima has been dividing her time and creative efforts between Bangkok and London and it was with Theatre Rites in the English capital that her perspectives on children’s theatre underwent a complete change.

//

“I’d always believed that children’s theatre was only about storytelling and for young audiences only. Then I saw how Theatre Rites would spend two years researching and creating to develop one work and how their adult audiences were affected by the performance as well. And so, Theatre Rites was the first company I put on the programme for BICT Fest and their leader Sue Buckmaster will also conduct a workshop on object-led theatre,” she says.

“I also knew the Portuguese company Companhia de Musica Teatral, which specialises in working for toddlers and their parents. And so, BICT Fest started with two professional companies of high standard from two countries. I then pitched the idea of a BICT Fest to Democrazy Studio’s Pavinee Samakkabutr who instantly jumped on board.”

The festival then asked for and received support from the British Council and the Embassy of Portugal. Meanwhile, the search for other companies from other countries who would match the standard of their curation continued and they found Israel’s Key Theatre.

“We are very grateful to the Embassy of Israel, who originally introduced us to another group, for listening to our proposal and pledging their kind support to bring Key Theatre to the BICT Fest.”

Talking about the BICT Fest’s curatorial scheme, Adjjima says: “Instead of works that directly teach the children the 1-2-3 of how to do things – and our main target is from toddlers to 13 years old – we prefer performances that arouse their curiosity and spark their creativity. We believe that children have high levels of imagination and they can enjoy both complex and abstract works.”

With the Japan Foundation the most active cultural organisation here for many decades, no theatre festival in Thailand would be complete without a work from Japan.

“We were also looking for other genres that audiences here don’t usually associate with children’s theatre and the Japan Foundation Bangkok kindly introduced us to a truly unique performance artist Kaiji Moriyama who works for both children and adult audiences. His solo work ‘Live Bone’ shows the importance as well as the wonder of the human body, and is very different from others in the programme,” she says.

Adjjima and Pavinee have also invited the Indonesian puppet theatre company Paper Moon to perform at the fest. Although better known for their political puppet theatre works for adults, the company recently conducted a workshop with families in Japan and for Bangkok will be holding a five-day ‘Pop-Up Puppet’ workshop with families here. Paper Moon will later perform in the showcase.

“Here too, we’re receiving the support of the Japan Foundation,” she says.

The BICT Fest will also present works by Thai companies, namely Kid Jam, Wandering Moon and B-Floor.

Adjjima explains, “Wandering Moon’s ‘The Yellow O’ is a special performance which Monthatip Suksopha and Sujittra Prasert co-created with deaf and autistic children as the shadow puppet artists tried to find best ways to communicate with them. On a related note, British dramatherapist Sue Jennings will hold a workshop which autistic children can also attend.”

And of course the choice of B-Floor, who’s more renowned for their physical and political theatre works, may raise many eyebrows.

Adjjima says, “They presented this object theatre work ‘Yoo Dee’ in Japan last year and so they’ll present it here at the BACC Library.”

In addition to the performances, almost all of which have no spoken dialogue, BICT Fest aims to do much more than entertain as they’re organising workshops, for parents and children and even toddlers, teachers and professional artists. There’s also an academic forum, exploring how arts and theatre can regain leading roles in Thai educational institutes, led by leading children’s theatre scholar and practitioner Panida Thapanangkoon from Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand.

Most events will take place at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, which is fully supporting this festival.

Unfortunately, like a number of projects initiated by contemporary theatre artists and not by government agencies here, BICT Fest’s request for funding has been turned down by the Culture Ministry’s Office of Contemporary Arts and Culture and therefore needs public support through the IndieGoGo crowdfunding website.

“Despite the immense support from foreign cultural institutions and embassies, we are still waiting for answers from many corporations. Anyhow, we have to go forward full-throttle even if we don’t reach our target in IndieGoGo. We strongly believe that BICT Fest is important and that our society needs it,” Adjjima says.

Indeed we do.

DONATE ANDPARTICIPATE

 

Dozens of stars ready for opera

Published August 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Dozens-of-stars-ready-for-opera-30288501.html

STAGE PREVIEW

The performances this weekend will include excerpts from Somtow's opera cycle, 'DasJati – Ten Lives of the Buddha', including 'Bhuridat' from 2015. Photo/Siam Opera

The performances this weekend will include excerpts from Somtow’s opera cycle, ‘DasJati – Ten Lives of the Buddha’, including ‘Bhuridat’ from 2015. Photo/Siam Opera

Luk thung, pop and jazz singers join Khun Ploypailin for a heavenly tribute to the King

What do royal granddaughter Khun Ploypailin Jensen, Swedish luk thung singer Jonas Anderson, Chicago Lyric Opera star Stacey Tappan and rock icon Pod Moderndog have in common, not to mention “Thailand’s Got Talent” winner Myra Molloy and jazz favourite Athalie De Koning?

All of these folks and more are set to appear as ancient deities when Opera Siam stages Somtow Sucharitkul‘s “Nemiraj – Scenes from Ten Lives of the Buddha” on Saturday and Sunday at the Thailand Cultural Centre.

The stage is a compilation of scenes from the first five operas in Somtow’s epic cycle of music dramas “DasJati – Ten Lives of the Buddha”.

The highlight will be the world premiere of the Tavatimsa scene from “Nemiraj”, “The Chariot of Heaven”, the most recently completed opera in the cycle.

In this scene the Bodhisattva is taken on a journey to Heaven and meets the 33 gods of Indra’s domain. Somtow has created an ensemble number with 33 individual vocal lines – and has invited top singers from Thailand and other countries to bring the score to life.

Khun Ploypailin will play the role of Atma, the Soul, in the 33 Gods Scene. Jonas Anderson plays Vayu, the Wind God, Pod the god Shiva, Tappan plays Agni, the Fire God, and Nadlada is Antariksha, goddess of the interstellar spaces. Molloy plays Nakshastra, goddess of the stars, and De Koning plays Prana, the Life-Force.

Trisdee na Patalung will conduct the Siam Orpheus Choir and Siam Philharmonic Orchestra.

Somtow’s “Das Jati” has been taking shape for more than a decade. By the end of the year Opera Siam will have produced five of the 10. And Somtow be halfway through the task of composing what will be, if completed, the “biggest opera of all time”, eclipsing the previous record holder, the four-opera Ring Cycle by Richard Wagner, in breadth and number of characters.

Somtow’s operatic re-imagining of the entire central mythos of Theravada Buddhism is intended to realign the international performing-arts world and elevate Thailand as a new operatic mecca. New York’s Opera News and London’s Opera magazine have touted Opera Siam’s achievements as turning Thailand into “the operatic hub of Southeast Asia”.

“Assuming I live to complete it,” Somtow says, the ‘Das Jati’ cycle will give the region a unique operative epic tradition of its own. Doing the cycle every three years as a huge festival event can provide employment for singers, directors, dancers, musicians, designers and conductors for generations to come,” he adds.

Not only does the project appeal to opera lovers, but also to the Buddhist community, educators and aficionados of dance.

A compilation of scenes from the first five operas in the cycle will be staged at the Thailand Cultural Centre on June 25 and 26 to honour His Majesty the King’s 70th year on the throne.

The highlight – the world premiere of the Tavatimsa scene – marks the first time an ensemble of 33 voices has ever been scored for an opera (usually the number is seven or eight.) Putting together the ensemble number has been a scheduling nightmare, says the composer, but “I am really gratified that so many big names want to be part of this historic moment.

“We are deeply gratified that Khun Ploypailin Jensen has agreed to play Atma. The entire cycle is my final gift to the country and to our beloved dynasty, and this cameo by His Majesty’s granddaughter is a beautiful symbol of Thailand’s deep connection with and love for our King.”

BOOK ONLINE

n “Nemiraj – Scenes from Ten Lives of the Buddha” will be performed Saturday and Sunday at the Thailand Cultural Centre.

n Sunday’s shows are at 2 and 8pm. Saturday’s show is a by-invitation preview at a time to be announced.

n Admission is free but tickets must be reserved in advance via http://www.OperaSiam.com.

Not just for kids

Published August 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Not-just-for-kids-30287107.html

STAGE PREVIEW

Alibabach by Companhia de Musica Teatral (Portugal)

Alibabach by Companhia de Musica Teatral (Portugal)

Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Indonesia)

Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Indonesia)

Recycled Rubbish by Theatre Rites (UK)

Recycled Rubbish by Theatre Rites (UK)

The Yellow O by Wandering Moon Theatre (Thailand)

The Yellow O by Wandering Moon Theatre (Thailand)

When All Was Green by The Key Theatre (Israel)

When All Was Green by The Key Theatre (Israel)

Yoo Dee by B-Floor Theatre (Thailand)

Yoo Dee by B-Floor Theatre (Thailand)

Parents and toddlers will also enjoy Bangkok’s first full-scale theatre festival for young audiences

Friends who have young children often ask me if there are more international stage performances for their kids to enjoy here other than “Disney on Ice”, which their kids not only look forward to but also dress up for in cartoon character costumes. Now, thanks to Arts on Location and Democrazy Studio who are joining forces in organising the first Bangkok International Children’s Theatre Festival – BICT Fest for short – I can give them a positive answer.

“We’re not saying that what’s available now is neither good nor insufficient; we’re simply offering more alternatives, the contents and creation process of which differ from the mainstream,” says Adjjima Na Patalung, founder and artistic director of Arts on Location and the brains behind the BICT Fest.

“Apart from having an impact on the audience, both children and adults, we’d also like to boost and expand relationships between foreign artists working in children’s theatre and their Thai counterparts. As a result, we hope that their works will reach a wider public and prove that there’s also art in the masses.”

For many years, Adjjima has been dividing her time and creative efforts between Bangkok and London and it was with Theatre Rites in the English capital that her perspectives on children’s theatre underwent a complete change.

//

“I’d always believed that children’s theatre was only about storytelling and for young audiences only. Then I saw how Theatre Rites would spend two years researching and creating to develop one work and how their adult audiences were affected by the performance as well. And so, Theatre Rites was the first company I put on the programme for BICT Fest and their leader Sue Buckmaster will also conduct a workshop on object-led theatre,” she says.

“I also knew the Portuguese company Companhia de Musica Teatral, which specialises in working for toddlers and their parents. And so, BICT Fest started with two professional companies of high standard from two countries. I then pitched the idea of a BICT Fest to Democrazy Studio’s Pavinee Samakkabutr who instantly jumped on board.”

The festival then asked for and received support from the British Council and the Embassy of Portugal. Meanwhile, the search for other companies from other countries who would match the standard of their curation continued and they found Israel’s Key Theatre.

“We are very grateful to the Embassy of Israel, who originally introduced us to another group, for listening to our proposal and pledging their kind support to bring Key Theatre to the BICT Fest.”

Talking about the BICT Fest’s curatorial scheme, Adjjima says: “Instead of works that directly teach the children the 1-2-3 of how to do things – and our main target is from toddlers to 13 years old – we prefer performances that arouse their curiosity and spark their creativity. We believe that children have high levels of imagination and they can enjoy both complex and abstract works.”

With the Japan Foundation the most active cultural organisation here for many decades, no theatre festival in Thailand would be complete without a work from Japan.

“We were also looking for other genres that audiences here don’t usually associate with children’s theatre and the Japan Foundation Bangkok kindly introduced us to a truly unique performance artist Kaiji Moriyama who works for both children and adult audiences. His solo work ‘Live Bone’ shows the importance as well as the wonder of the human body, and is very different from others in the programme,” she says.

Adjjima and Pavinee have also invited the Indonesian puppet theatre company Paper Moon to perform at the fest. Although better known for their political puppet theatre works for adults, the company recently conducted a workshop with families in Japan and for Bangkok will be holding a five-day ‘Pop-Up Puppet’ workshop with families here. Paper Moon will later perform in the showcase.

“Here too, we’re receiving the support of the Japan Foundation,” she says.

The BICT Fest will also present works by Thai companies, namely Kid Jam, Wandering Moon and B-Floor.

Adjjima explains, “Wandering Moon’s ‘The Yellow O’ is a special performance which Monthatip Suksopha and Sujittra Prasert co-created with deaf and autistic children as the shadow puppet artists tried to find best ways to communicate with them. On a related note, British dramatherapist Sue Jennings will hold a workshop which autistic children can also attend.”

And of course the choice of B-Floor, who’s more renowned for their physical and political theatre works, may raise many eyebrows.

Adjjima says, “They presented this object theatre work ‘Yoo Dee’ in Japan last year and so they’ll present it here at the BACC Library.”

In addition to the performances, almost all of which have no spoken dialogue, BICT Fest aims to do much more than entertain as they’re organising workshops, for parents and children and even toddlers, teachers and professional artists. There’s also an academic forum, exploring how arts and theatre can regain leading roles in Thai educational institutes, led by leading children’s theatre scholar and practitioner Panida Thapanangkoon from Knowledge Network Institute of Thailand.

Most events will take place at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, which is fully supporting this festival.

Unfortunately, like a number of projects initiated by contemporary theatre artists and not by government agencies here, BICT Fest’s request for funding has been turned down by the Culture Ministry’s Office of Contemporary Arts and Culture and therefore needs public support through the IndieGoGo crowdfunding website.

“Despite the immense support from foreign cultural institutions and embassies, we are still waiting for answers from many corporations. Anyhow, we have to go forward full-throttle even if we don’t reach our target in IndieGoGo. We strongly believe that BICT Fest is important and that our society needs it,” Adjjima says.

Indeed we do.

DONATE ANDPARTICIPATE

 

On the bright side of life

Published July 20, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/On-the-bright-side-of-life-30283852.html

STAGE PREVIEW

Sumontha Suanpholrat starts in the female version of 'Chiwit di di' ('Every Brillant Thing')? Photo courtesy of Peerawat Navicharern

Sumontha Suanpholrat starts in the female version of ‘Chiwit di di’ (‘Every Brillant Thing’)? Photo courtesy of Peerawat Navicharern

Konthorn Taecholarn stars in the play's male version. Photo courtesy of Kie Nutchanon

Konthorn Taecholarn stars in the play’s male version. Photo courtesy of Kie Nutchanon

Panuwat Inthawat interacts with the Chiang Mai audience in the gay version. Photo courtesy of CMU

Panuwat Inthawat interacts with the Chiang Mai audience in the gay version. Photo courtesy of CMU

The Thai tradaptation of “Every Brilliant Thing” is back in Bangkok in the middle of its Thailand tour

“Chiwit di di”, based on British playwright Duncan Macmillan and comedian Jonny Donahoe’s play “Every Brilliant Thing”, premiered at Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts in late February and was part of Burapha Music and Performing Arts International Festival last month in Bang Saen. It was also staged at Chiang Mai University earlier this month.

Three professional actors, namely an actress in her mid 40s Sumontha Suanpholrat, an actor in his early 30s Konthorn Taecholarn and a gay actor in his mid 20s Panuwat Inthawat, are taking turns narrating the story in female, male and gay versions. Each reminds him or herself, and the audience, of the value of living with a list of brilliant things that have happened since his/her mother first contemplated suicide when the narrator was just seven years old. While the core of the story is the same, many contexts have been changed in accordance with gender and age though many members of the audience still get to read these brilliant things out loud during the performance.

“Chiwit di di” is an interactive theatre piece in which collective imagination is key – the house lights are fully on, there are no sets on stage and the performer looks right into the audience’s eyes and take us through his life experience. The sole narrator also asks some audience members to portray important people in his or her life – dad, life partner, primary school teacher who talked through her sock dog, a university professor who taught Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther” as well as a vet who put a childhood dog to death, introducing the idea of loss.

Reflecting on her experience from performances in Bangkok and Bang Saen, Sumontha says: “Despite a stage experience of more than two decades, I was quite nervous with the audience participation part at first. The audience never attended our rehearsals so I never knew what would happen! It has turned out to be a truly special experience. Talking directly to them, listening to what they say, impromptu, and then responding accordingly and naturally may sound very simple, but in a society where many of us spend most of our heads down and eyes on smartphone screens, communicating via social media, this human-to-human direct communication is remarkable. Many audience members have said that attending this play is like listening to a friend’s story.”

//

Konthorn adds: “The play has considerably changed my views on life and living. Many younger friends called me and sent me messages via Line, saying ‘I have depression’, ‘I am bi-polar’, ‘I used to contemplate suicide’. These real-life innuendos are much more serious than what happened in the play. I’m now doing more research on these issues to make sure I can do my best, both on the stage and in real life.”

Panuwat notes: “During our first run in Bangkok, I witnessed a grandpa kissing a grandma’s cheek, some teenagers sobbing while thinking of their childhood, a married couple looking at each other when an entry in the ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ list reads ‘conversation’. Earlier this month, I performed this play outdoors for the first time at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, battling the heat as well as the noise from planes taking off. I thought the audience’s reaction would be less than that in Bangkok when we’re in the theatre, but I was wrong. An audience member said it’s ‘brilliant’; another asked ‘Are you from Chiang Mai? Your northern dialect is better than mine’; another ‘Is this your own story?’ and yet another ‘The whole experience encourages me to reconsider certain details in my life: it’s life-affirming’. I then realised how strong an impact the play has on the audience.”

On the other side of the coin, in his review published in Season magazine IATC Thailand’s honorary president Kittisak Suwanaphokin, who watched three versions of the play in one day, wrote, “Among the three performers’ special skills is their friendliness. And because of this, the audience is willing to perform with them and we do our best. Panuwat’s gay approach cracks much laughter and Konthorn knows how to entertain his audience. After watching both of them, I was thinking about going home and coming back to watch Sumontha in April. But then my curiosity kicked in and, walking back into Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts for the third time in one day, I was wondering what else she could do differently from her two male counterparts.”

Kittisak comments on the actress who has never been known for comedy, “Hers was completely different: she was so realistic that the audience was in complete silence at many moments. Among the three, she’s the closest to the original script and her inner realism helped make the jokes even funnier.”

The list continues

“Every Brilliant Thing” (Thailand tour version) is from tomorrow to Saturday at Chulalongkorn University’s Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts, a 10-minute walk from BTS Siam, exit 6.

It’s in Thai with English surtitles.

The performance starts at 7.30pm and there’s a 2pm matinee on Saturday.

Tickets are Bt 600 (Bt 300 for students) at (081) 559 7152. For more details, Facebook.com/DramaArtsChula.

– The play will be at Mahasarakham University on April 25 and 26, Khon Kaen University from May 12 to 14, and Vic Hua Hin on November 25 and 26.

 

Sulak versus Pichet

Published June 28, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Sulak-versus-Pichet-30282326.html

STAGE PREVIEW

'The original idea came from Sulak', says Pichet of the genesis for their performance, set for Saturday at the BACC. Photo/Siriwan Sripenchan

‘The original idea came from Sulak’, says Pichet of the genesis for their performance, set for Saturday at the BACC. Photo/Siriwan Sripenchan

Thai philosopher-activist Suluk Sivaraksa battles with dancer Pichet Klunchun on stage in one-night-only 'Prat Thon Thuk'. Photo/Siriwan Sripenchan

Thai philosopher-activist Suluk Sivaraksa battles with dancer Pichet Klunchun on stage in one-night-only ‘Prat Thon Thuk’. Photo/Siriwan Sripenchan

Philosopher-Activist Sulak Sivaraksa to take the stage in the one-night-only “Prat Thon Thuk”

TWO DAYS AGO, Pichet Klunchun Dance Company’s “The Gentlemen” was honoured with two IATC Thailand Awards for best movement-based performance and best performance by an ensemble. The company is now in rehearsal for its grandest production to date, “Dancing with Death”, scheduled for its Southeast Asia premiere at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre in early May, and they’re raising funds for Bangkok performance in June.

But the pressures of work aren’t stopping the Silpathorn laureate and Thailand’s first recipient of the John D Rockefeller III Award from taking some time off this weekend to work with one of his die-hard fans and patrons, the revered philosopher and activist Sulak Sivaraksa. The two will take the stage for a highly anticipated one-evening-only performance titled “Prat Thon Thuk”, literally “a philosopher who endures misery” and a wordplay on the Ramakien episode of “Narai prap Nonthuk”.

“The original idea came from Sulak”, says Pichet. “I’ve been performing at his birthday anniversary [March 27] for the past few years and this year, his 83rd, he told me, I don’t want to just sit and watch you perform; I want to perform with you’.

“I proposed this episode because it’s directly relevant to the context of Thai society, not only in the past but also right now. It talks about class differences, power and the misuse of it, as well as justice. For example, the angels conducted many misdeeds and yet they were never punished. On the contrary, the one who was wronged by them when he took his revenge was. Does that sound like a recent incident here in Thailand?”

//

Pichet was in a contemporary production of “Nonthuk” by Pornrat Damrhung about two decades ago performing with actor Dangkamon Na-pombejra in Bangkok and in its classical version in Singapore.

“Yet I’ve never staged it in Thailand, until now,” he says.

“In the new version, I believe it’s easier for the audience to be able to relate this ancient story to what’s happening here and now. They’ll be able to see what each character represents in our society. Most of us regard this episode as the beginning of ‘Ramakien’ [as Narai defeated Nonthuk and granted him a reincarnation as a 10-headed and 20-armed Thotsakan, and Narai himself was reborn as Phra Ram].

Pichet is portraying Nonthuk and Sulak is Phra Narai.

“In the first rehearsal, I was surprised to see that he knew how to perform classical Thai dance. I know he loves watching it but performing … I had no idea.”

They will be joined by National Artist painter and writer Thepsiri Suksopha, whose character of Phra Isuan will also paint on stage. Another Silpathorn Artist Pradit Prasartthong will dance the angel, an impersonation of Phra Narai, who tricked Nonthuk into killing himself.

Pichet explains, “For me, this character symbolises passion; it’s not simply a female character. When Nonthuk was enjoying his power, his passion led him to his doom.”

Pichet notes that right now about 50 tickets are available for the public and the proceeds will be donated to the “We are all Billy” fund, and adds, “The performance is about 45 minutes but the actual length also depends on Sulak’s [Phra Narai’s] final monologue, which we never rehearse.”

Expect a social and political commentary for that finale.

SPEECH AND DANCE

– “Prat Thon Thuk” will be performs at 6.45pm on Saturday in the fifth-floor auditorium of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.

– Tickets are Bt500. For details, call (086) 763 6644 or e-mail pravit@wangdex.co.th.

 

It takes four to tango

Published June 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/It-takes-four-to-tango-30281353.html

STAGE PREVIEW

'Monos' will be performed at 7.30pm from Friday to Sunday in the fourth floor studio of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Photo/Daniel Karlas

‘Monos’ will be performed at 7.30pm from Friday to Sunday in the fourth floor studio of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. Photo/Daniel Karlas

Photo/Daniel Karlas

Photo/Daniel Karlas

Jitti Chompee works khon movements into jazz music in his new show

At the Tokyo Performing Arts Market (TPAM) in 2012, Thai choreographer and artistic director of 18 Monkeys Dance Theatre Jitti Chompee met the Argentinean director of Teatro San Martin. They kept in touch and last September, the Thai company made its South American debut with “Monos”, in which three 18 Monkeys dancers, using the techniques and styles of classical Thai masked dance khon, collaborated with the Grammy Award-nominated jazz band Escalandrum, founded by a descendent of Tango legend Astor Piazzolla.

“It was a success. The Piazzolla family members liked this collaboration very much and have invited us to go back,” Jitti says.

“There’s also interest from the Hague. The problem is that one of the three dancers Anucha Sumaman has a full-time job at the National Theatre and his schedule may not allow for frequent tours. I was looking for a double cast and Pichet Klunchun suggested [one of his company members] Porramet Maneerat. But then I realised that each dancer has a different personality and technique so I should just recreate this work for four dancers.

“BACC has been interested in this work from the beginning and I’ve been trying to bring the full band, with seven musicians, from Buenos Aires to Bangkok. For now at least, that’s not possible. Escalandrum has granted us the right to perform with their music, which is strongly based on tango roots. But without them sharing the stage with the dancers and the stage being smaller here, it’s not the same so I decided to create a new choreography. The structure remains the same though – we’re using all four character types of khon, namely phra (the male lead), nang (the female lead), yak (demon) and ling (monkey),” Jitti explains.

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“While Escalandrum’s music was the origin of this interdisciplinary and intercultural work, many parts of the new choreography are inspired by paintings, like those of the Himavanta forest, and photographs from magazines that I like. I shared these images with my four dancers and they’ve been very quick in pitching in ideas and co-creating choreography.”

In addition to Anucha and Sumaman, the cast includes long-time member of 18 Monkeys Krittin Kiatmetha and Benjamin Tardif, a Canadian dancer who not only has been trained in khon’s monkey character but also finished his master’s in the teaching of performing arts from the Ministry of Culture’s Bunditpatanasilpa Institute.

Jitti is now hoping to run a small theatre studio with a monthly programme.

“Classical Thai literature is a great resource and contemporary dance works can be new interpretations of the stories with which most of us are already familiar. This would also create job opportunities for new dance graduates,” he says/

Buenos Aires to Bangkok

“Monos” is at the 4th floor studio of BACC (BTS: National Stadium) from Friday to Sunday at 7:30pm.

Tickets are Bt800 (Bt400 for students) at (081) 814 3304.

Find out more at http://www.18MonkeysDanceTheatre.com and at the “18 Monkeys Dance Theatre” page on Facebook.

 

Alone but never lonely

Published June 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Alone-but-never-lonely-30280824.html

STAGE PREVIEW

'Lone Man and the Flower' mixes art installation and contemporary theatre. Photo/Plampark Phapho

‘Lone Man and the Flower’ mixes art installation and contemporary theatre. Photo/Plampark Phapho

'Bubble Universe' Photo/Plampa Phapho

‘Bubble Universe’ Photo/Plampa Phapho

Surachai Petsangrot and his artist friends create a unique interdisciplinary work

Thong Lor Art Art Space is once again living up to its name. A combination of theatre, recital hall and exhibition space, it can easily accommodate all genres of arts and flows perfectly with the current trend of contemporary arts in which boundaries continue to blur and arts genres blend.

Not since the art centre’s soft launch event almost two years ago, before the former guest house building went through a major renovation, has it opened all five floors of space for one event. And the credit for that is down to project curator Wasurachata Unaprom.

Over the years, theatregoers have seen the name Surachai Petsangrot credited for production design, for example in the critically acclaimed “Hipster the King”, and some have even watched him perform on stage. Now, not only do we get to know more of his visual arts talent in his solo exhibition “Lone Man and the Flowers” but we also witness how his artist friends respond to his paintings in various ways.

The box office table has been moved to the stairs and so the experience starts at the door to the second floor. Surachai’s artistic statements can be read on walls throughout the building, although I personally found that he was revealing a little too much and stopped reading after a few. The bar and reception area is dimmer than usual but thankfully it’s still possible to enjoy a pre-show coffee.

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At 7.45pm, musician Maneerut Singhanart, dressed similarly to the character in the painting “Maechi bon phuen” (“Apprentice Nun on the Ground”) on a wall, takes the small stage in one corner and for a percussion and singing performance that is a delightful overture to a world with which we think we’re familiar.

Fifteen minutes later and we are now on the fifth and top floor, where the writing from the world-famous solo work “Bang Lamerd” can still be seen. Here, sitting on the floor underneath pieces of white fabrics onto which video images are projected, we listen to Wasurachata dressed in a white tank top and underpants and sitting on a swing holding a bubble gun, as he recounts a story inspired by Surachai’s “Chakrawan fong sabu” (“Bubble Universe”) painting.

Still later and one floor down, Suranya Poonyaphitak performs a short play written by B-Floor Theatre’s Sarut Komalittipong, inspired by Surachai’s “Nak mayakon khap mon dokmai” (“Magician and Flower’s Spell”), around a long table covered with red roses that are withering to various degrees.

“These roses are actually one single rose, with different fates,” Suranya repeats.

Further down, on the third floor, the physical movements of Crescent Moon Theatre’s Sukanya Pheansri are reflected in a mirror in a piece inspired by Surachai’s “Tai pha chan” (“Under moonlit cliff”).

The final performance is on the ground floor, another highly flexible space where most performances take place. More paintings are on display, with theatrical lighting directing our attention to each one or each group of them and Surachai’s notes written on the floor. The highlight is the title piece “Kep dokmai khon diao” (“Lone Man and the Flowers”). Chairs are later brought into the space and Surachai enters to sit on one, then moves to another, and as the lights fade and darkness cloaks the room, the main doors open to reveal the bustling sidewalk and street traffic of Soi Thonglor. Along with Surachai, we look to the world outside, connecting what we’ve experienced in the past two hours to what awaits us out there.

About 10 minutes are allowed for the onlookers to walk from one floor to another, and that’s enough time to feel the environment before each piece starts. My whole experience last Thursday evening would have been much more memorable if the majority of the audience, young university students, had concentrated more on perceiving the works than using their smartphones to receive calls, take photos and connect to social media.

That annoyance aside, I do wish university professors and administrators would take the chance to watch this and then start rewriting their arts education curricula. Only then will our future artists and audiences start to get out of their comfort zone and embrace the unfamiliar.

 

MORE COLLABORATION

– “Lone Man and the Flowers” wraps up today. The exhibition is open for free viewing from 3 to 6pm and 9.30 to 11pm. The performance is at 7.30pm. Tickets are Bt490.

– Coming up is “Suk-ka-sak-ka-raj”, a “manual for time travel” by Yui Cello in collaboration with a stage actor, a documentary producer, a writer, a dancer, an illustrator and an experimental musician. It’s at 7.30pm from March 24 to April 4, except Tuesday and Wednesday. Tickets are Bt450 (at the door), Bt400 (by advance transfer) and Bt370 (students).

– Thong Lor Art Space is a three-minute walk from BTS Thonglor. For details, call (095) 024 4555 or check Facebook.com/ThongLorArtSpace.

 

Blood from water and relationshi

Published June 18, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/Blood-from-water-and-relationshi-30280590.html

STAGE PREVIEW

CHULACHAK CHAKRABONGSE AS DRACULA AND MAXIMILIANE BAUER AS MINA HARKER_photo by Andrew Strobridge

CHULACHAK CHAKRABONGSE AS DRACULA AND MAXIMILIANE BAUER AS MINA HARKER_photo by Andrew Strobridge

CHULACHAK CHAKRABONGSE AS DRACULA AND VIN KRIDAKORN AS JONATHAN HARKER_photo by Andrew Strobridge

CHULACHAK CHAKRABONGSE AS DRACULA AND VIN KRIDAKORN AS JONATHAN HARKER_photo by Andrew Strobridge

JOE DIXON AS VAN HELSING_MAXIMILIANE BAUER AS MINA_photo by Andrew Strobridge

JOE DIXON AS VAN HELSING_MAXIMILIANE BAUER AS MINA_photo by Andrew Strobridge

The Thailand-UK production of “Dracula” is a rare treat

THERE’S NOTHING new about English-language plays being produced in Thailand – indeed, spoken drama was introduced to Thai dramatic art by no less a personage than King Rama VI.

But never before has the audience witnessed such a large-scale production as Ewing Entertainment Worldwide’s “Dracula: Blood Is Life”, now gearing up for the final weekend of its four-week run at the K-Bank Siam Pic-Ganesha Centre of Performing Arts.

This proscenium theatre seats more than 1,000 audience members and notwithstanding the immense efforts made to promote the English language in advance of the start of the AEC, the spoken language is probably why this production has not drawn the expected crowds. It’s proof once again that most local theatregoers still prefer musicals with 30 or more performers onstage – more bangs for our bucks perhaps – when a ticket costs a few thousand baht.

British director Joe Harmston’s focus on characterisation and character relationships, rather than blood is evident from the start and makes this two-hour play with one intermission roll along smoothly. In the end, it’s clear that the lines between good and evil is so thin that, as well as that between sanity and madness, we can slip in and out of it or between them anytime.

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Don’t expect a groundbreaking adaptation, though: American playwright Steven Dietz’s version is very faithful to the original novel. The script has many short scenes and Harmston makes sure that all are dramatically united and that no transition wastes time or causes distraction or confusion.

That cohesion is also thanks to the practicality of Sean Cavanagh’s set design which not only fills the stage, horizontally and vertically, with its slanted lines but also, thanks to his keen collaboration with lighting designer Ben Cracknell, manages to create a Victorian atmosphere with a contemporary look.

The same can be said for Rachael Forbes’s costume design.

As the title character, Chulachak “Hugo” Chakrabongse silences all doubters who regard him more as rock star than actor. His performance is easily on par with the much more experienced British actors. That said though, the play is carried for the most part by British veterans Christopher Brand, Joe Dixon and Paul Ewing, as Dr Seward, Van Helsing and Renfield respectively thanks to both their characterisations and physical and vocal presence. With so strong a male cast, German actress Maximiliane Bauer as Mina Harker and her Thai counterpart Myra Molloy as Lucy Westenra, look and sound weak – the latter is also evidently too young for this role. Another Thai actor Vin Kridakorn isn’t quite convincing as Mina’s husband Jonathan.

Another bold choice is the decision not to use any microphones in this large modern playhouse. I was nine rows away from the stage on the stalls and enjoyed the highly skilled enunciation of the aforementioned actors but had a hard time hearing and understanding the actresses. M Theatre might have been a better choice for this production.

Also commendable is the sound design, present throughout the play, by Tada Mitrevej, which is soft enough not to compete with the actors’ voice but loud enough to enhance the story’s suspense.

MORE THAN BLOOD

– “Dracula: Blood Is Life” continues from tomorrow until Sunday at the K-Bank Siam Pic-Ganesha Centre of Performing Arts in Siam Square One. Shows are at 7.30 nightly and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

– It’s in English with Thai surtitles. Due to its content, the performance is recommended for audience members 12 years old and above.

– Tickets are Bt840 to Bt2,660. Check ThaiTicketMajor for discounts.

– Find out more at http://www.TheDraculaShow.com.

 

The upside of being down

Published June 16, 2016 by SoClaimon

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/life/The-upside-of-being-down-30279752.html

STAGE PREVIEW

The play stars Sumontha Suanpholrat, Konthorn Taecholarn and Panuwat Inthawat. Photo/Nutchanon Kerdumpaeng

The play stars Sumontha Suanpholrat, Konthorn Taecholarn and Panuwat Inthawat. Photo/Nutchanon Kerdumpaeng

Someone's pet beagle also figures into the story somehow. Photo/Nutchanon Kerdumpaeng

Someone’s pet beagle also figures into the story somehow. Photo/Nutchanon Kerdumpaeng

Better living through interactive theatre in the British play “Every Brilliant Thing”, set for this week at Chulalongkorn University

Thanks to the British Council, I watched 24 dance and theatre performances in six days last August in Edinburgh and came back with one firm favourite – “Every Brilliant Thing”.

A life-affirming comedy with plenty of jokes, high-octane energy and connection between the one performer and his audience, what struck me most and stayed in my mind was one line: “If you live a long life and get to the end of it without ever once having felt crushingly depressed, then you probably haven’t been paying attention”.

Now the play – or least its “tradaptation” – is coming to Bangkok and will soon be raising the spirits of local theatregoers.

The synopsis of this “new play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love” and based on both true and untrue stories reads, “You’re seven years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s ‘done something stupid’. She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for: (1) Ice Cream (2) Water Fights (3) Staying up past your bedtime and being allowed to watch TV. (4) The colour yellow. (5) Things with stripes (6) Rollercoasters (7) People falling over. You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own.”

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Having been staged on both shores of the Atlantic, the play has garnered many favourable reviews.

Critic Lyn Gardner wrote in the Guardian that it’s “Heart-wrenching, hilarious…possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression -and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop.”

And for the off-Broadway run in December 2014, New York Times’ Ben Brantley wrote, “Mr MacMillan’s play, though often very funny, is fully aware [that] in the face of great loss and depression, a real effort of will is required to recall why it’s worth continuing with life. That will is the force that animates ‘Every Brilliant Thing’ and keeps it afloat for the captivating hour of its duration.”

While the original cast member and co-writer Jonny Donahoe, performing this play now in Australia, is a man, MacMillan notes, “The narrator can be played by a woman or a man of any age or ethnicity” and “The play should always be set in the country it’s being performed and references should be amended to reflect this.”

With this in mind and again with support from the British Council, Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Dramatic Arts is staging “Chiwit Di Di” with three professional thespians, – a woman, a man and a gay – and from three generations – 24 to 44 years of age. They’ll be taking turns on different nights and at different time to tell their stories.

They are veteran actress Sumontha Suanpholrat, the first recipient of IATC Thailand’s award for best performance by a female artist for her role in “The Chairs”, comedian Konthorn Taecholarn, the co-host of “Proud Night” TV programme, and Panuwat Inthawat, who was seen as an actor in “4 Sisters+1” and staged “Drunk” as part of the first Bangkok Queer Theatre Festival two years ago.

Sumontha says, “My biggest challenge is to forget the familiar mode of performance in which the audience is passive and be ready for the continuous and direct interaction with the active audience, which is always unpredictable from one evening to another.”

Panuwat quotes a few lines from the play he loves: “Things get better. They might not always get brilliant. But they get better.” He adds, “Another fun thing about performing this play -and it’s my first solo performance – is to blend the ‘world’ of the character with mine: my list of ‘brilliant things’, songs that have special meaning in my life and people in my life.”

For his part, Konthorn says, “What I’m telling you in this play are not facts, but truths. Some are true stories of the two British playwrights, others are mine. After the show, I hope you care more for your life, and think of ‘brilliant things’ in your life, no matter whether you’re happy or not. And you know, I really want to read your list of ‘brilliant things’. Show it to me!”

Prepare for another unique theatregoing experience.

WHAT’S WITH

THE DOG?

n “Every Brilliant Thing” runs from Thursday to Saturday at Chulalongkorn University’s Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre for Dramatic Arts, a 10-minute walk from BTS Siam exit 6. It’s in Thai with English surtitles.

n Shows are at 7.30 nightly plus 2pm and 5.30pm on Saturday.

n Tickets are Bt 600 (Bt 300 for students). For more details, call (081) 559 7152. For more details, http://www.Facebook.com/dramaartschula.

 

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