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"Girl X" 12th Bangkok Theatre Festival

Negotiable

Period:07 Nov 2014 - 08 Nov 2014

Address:939, Rama I Rd., Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

Tel:+662-218-4802

Service day:Friday, Saturday, Service hours: 19:30-22:00

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Official description

Hanchu-Yuei, a theatre collective from Tokyo, will stage a production that might cause a wave among local up-and-coming performers, at Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre of Dramatic Arts, on Nov 7 at 7.30pm and Nov 8 at 2pm and 7.30pm.

Presented in collaboration with the Japan Foundation, Girl X is a play that simply and honestly crystallises the various separations within Japanese society and views formed since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Directed by Suguru Yamamoto, it will feature actors Kazuki Ohashi and Sachiro Nomoto interacting with several female characters played by a projector.

Yamamoto is known for writing and directing pieces characterised by their critical approaches to the boundary between reality and fiction. His production’s themes are often humorously drawn from opposites, such as love and hate.

Hanchu-Yuei’s recent work involves two-dimensional letters, images, lights and floor plans that are projected — elements that organically relate to performers, resulting in 2.5-dimensional theatre.

Girl X is presented as part of the 12th Bangkok Theatre Festival, which will take place at venues including Santichaiprakarn Park on Phra Athit Road, selected pubs and restaurants in the Bang Lamphu community and the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, from Saturday until Nov 16.

Rating

Editorial Reviews

A scene from Girl X.

There’s no theme for this year’sBangkok Theatre Festival, but takea closer look at Life’s previewand you’ll find there’s more than a hintof social and political commentaryin the various productions

As per tradition, this year’s Bangkok Theatre Festival kicked off last weekend at Santi Chaiprakan Park in Bang Lamphu, with a packed two-day programme. The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), however, is the main arena for this year’s event, and will host a wide range of shows, from musicals and movement-based performances to pantomime and puppetry, for the next two weeks.

Over the past months, the theatre community has been one of the most active in social and political commentary among the arts scene. Although there’s no particular theme for this year’s festival, reflection and commentary on the current political atmosphere is surely a main focus for many theatre troupes’ productions, whether directly or subtly presented. There are also a couple of international productions thrown into the eclectic mix.

As reflected by the small-yet-ever-growing contemporary theatre scene in Bangkok, various studios are also hosting productions — Democrazy Theatre Studio, B-Floor Room, Chulalongkorn University’s The Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre of Dramatic Arts, the recently-opened Thonglor Art Space, Sun Dance Theatre, which is hosting an ongoing Bangkok Queer Theatre Festival, and Creative Industries at M Theatre on Phetchburi Road

More interesting than a range of show venues is a blend of generations of theatre troupes, from veterans on the scene, such as Anatta Theatre Troupe, Makhampom Theatre Community, Theatre8x8, B-Floor and New Theatre Society, to those of university students and new faces who will showcase their work for the first time.

We’ve rounded up five highlights of this year’s festival that you shouldn’t miss. 

Virginian: The Body Of Mickey Mouse

After a leading role as Kularb Saipradit in Pradit Prasartthong’s musical Sri Burapha: Memoir Of Freedom and one of the hipsters in Thanapol Virulhakul’s Hipster The King earlier this year, Gandhi Wasuvitchayagit is now putting on heels and trimming his brows for his female role in the solo show Virginian: The Body Of Mickey Mouse.

The performance is inspired by the story of a young pianist prodigy in Alessandro Baricco’s monologue Novecento (later adapted into the film The Legend Of 1900).

Gandhi created the character of 18-year-old Virginian (also the name of the ocean liner where the story is set), who is on her way back to the US with her husband after their marriage in Europe. On the cruise she first sees eight-year-old Novecento play piano. The experience awakens something in her. She doesn’t see him again for 30 years, but Novecento has always been alive in Virginian’s mind. Playing a female role for the first time, it’s not surprising why the show is co-directed by three other female directors. Gandhi is by trade a musician — he’s acted as music producer on several productions, including the recent 2475 The Musical and Sri Burapha: Memoir Of Freedom. In this solo show, he’s experimenting with a piece of interactive sound equipment he calls a “kinector”, which has sensors to keep track of his movements.  

Virginian: The Body Of Mickey Mouse shows at BACC’s Studio, 4th floor, on Wednesday to Friday at 7pm. Tickets cost 100 baht. Call 096-051-1451.

The Death Of A Scientist

After being staged earlier this year at Bangkok University, Ratapong Pinyosophon is bringing back The Death Of A Scientist for the festival. Produced by Pastel Theatre, Ratapong experiments with his narrative on contemporary issues by setting his story in a scientific environment. Before getting his master’s degree in theatre, Ratapong studied in biology. The inspiration for the play stemmed from a laboratory experiment on cadmium poisoning, for which hundreds of frogs were used.

Featuring actors Kwin Pichikul and Rujeerat Chotchuangsathaporn, The Death Of A Scientist tells the story of a scientist presenting his research findings while the country is under martial law. Ratapong said he didn’t feel guilty killing the frogs for the experiment, and has likened this experimental process in the play to events in contemporary Thai history, social and political issues, such as the development of democracy. Ratapong said the play is a social and political experiment.

The Death Of A Scientist will be performed at BACC’s Mini Theatre by Film Archive, 2nd floor, on Saturday at 1.30pm and Sunday at 1.30pm and 7pm. Tickets cost 112 baht. Call 096-051-1451.

Ting

After Convertal, a play about an alien coming to warn humans of Earth’s impending destruction, director Kwin Bhichitkul’s new production is set in an imaginary world, but reflects his thoughts on contemporary Thailand.

Ting, short for a Thai word ting hoo, meaning earlobe, tells the story of two friends who set out on an adventure to escape their village, where there’s a strict rule that everybody must keep their haircut no longer than the level of their of earlobes. Written by Chanida Punyaneramitdee, Ting mixes dialogue with movements and a few theatrical props, which evoke different places to which the friends travel.

Ting will be performed at Crescent Moon Space, Pridi Banomyong Institute, on Nov 13-15 at 8pm. Tickets cost 300 baht. Call 089-130-6305 for reservations. 

La Divina: Maria Callas’ Last Interview

Directed by Mariangela Chatzistamatiou, the Asian premiere of this one-woman musical by Shelley Cooper explores the life and career of Maria Callas, an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most respected opera singers of the 20th century. Callas has been an inspiration for Cooper since she was 17, with her gorgeous voice and unique, dramatic interpretations and understanding of music. Cooper wrote La Divina for her master’s thesis at the University of Central Florida, and the 45-minute performance tells various stories from Callas’ life.

La Divina: Maria Callas’ Last Interview will be performed at BACC’s Studio, 4th floor, on Nov 15-16 at 7pm. Tickets cost 250 baht. Call 096-051-1451.

Girl X

Hanchu-Yuei, a theatre collective from Tokyo, is travelling to Thailand with just a few crew members and a MacBook. Directed by Suguru Yamamoto, Girl X explores the divisive views and groups within Japanese society after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Stage lighting is not needed — actors Kazuki Ohashi and Sachiro Nomoto will interact with several female characters played by a projector programmed on a single laptop. Suguru said that the work reflects a sense of stagnation since the 2011 natural disasters and is about “darkness of mind and hope of young people today”.

Girl X will be performed at Chulalongkorn University’s The Sodsai Pantoomkomol Centre of Dramatic Arts, on Friday at 7.30pm on Friday and on Saturday at 2pm and 7.30pm. Tickets cost 600 baht (300 baht for students; 400 baht for those under age 27, artists and Japan Foundation members) Call 081-559-7252.

A scene from Ting.
A scene from The Death Of A Scientist.
A scene from Virginian: The Body of Mickey Mouse.

Location

939, Rama I Rd., Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand

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