Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Theatrical Things You Could Be Doing This Weekend

Happy Chuseok!

May your day be filled with rice cakes and grilled meat.

After the culinary excess of the three day harvest festival why not feed your brain this weekend with two extraordinary theatrical opportunities.

The Fifth Theatre Olympics in Seoul is running at the moment and there are some incredible theatre companies performing.

First off for Beckett fans there's Krapp's Last Tape. Directed and performed by Robert Wilson (Texas' own avant-garde genius) this 60 minute one man show is not to be missed. Wilson hasn't performed for ten years and this is your first chance to see him strut his stuff in Seoul.

The shows are on Friday 24th September at 8.00 pm and Saturday 25th September at 3.00 pm and 8.00 pm. The performance is in English. Tickets range from 20,000 won to 70,000 won, but if you're a foreigner then you get a 20% discount.

Secondly the master of all things butoh, Suzuki Tadashi, will be showing off his greek side with performances of Dionysus. It may be in Japanese, but this hour long physical theatre production should transcend language and take you into the bizarre world of Suzuki.

The shows are on Saturday 25th September at 7.00 pm and Sunday 26th Spetember at 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm. Tickets range from 10,000 won to 30,000 won.

I've already booked my tickets for Beckett and will be trying to get my hands on seats for Dionysus. If you have any interest in the performing arts then I suggest you do the same and enjoy the chance to see some of the best theatre that the world has to offer.

2 comments:

GRRRL TRAVELER said...

Wow. Kinda annoyed w/ myself for not looking into the theatre-dance scene but it's prob cause I live in Daegu & not Seoul. Still, didn't think Korea was big in bringing out international performances & who knew Tadashi was still alive??? Big fan of butoh, tho I thought the Suzuki method preceded it...?

Anyways, thanks for the post! Being a thespian, do you have a "go-to" venue for these kinds of performances & are they common?

Unknown said...

Seoul gets its fair share of international shows, but you have to search for them. There are a few big venues always worth checking out.

LG Arts Centre (near Yoksam station) has an international program running through the first half of the year and then a crappy Korean language musical running in the second half of the year. They usually get the cream of the crop whether it's Robert LePage or Ladysmith Black Mambazo to Czechoslovakian Chekov and Russian Shakespeare.

The Seoul Arts Centre (near Nambu Bus Terminal) is host to a lot of touring operas but they also have some interesting stuff on.

Sejong Arts Centre (Near Gwanghwamun) has bits and pieces on, but the National Theatre (up on Namsan) has quite a few big international performances throughout the year.

There's also stuff going on in Daehangno (the theatre district) at the Arko Arts Centre and they have also shown Korean plays with English subtitles in the past (Chekov's The Cherry Orchard by Sadari Theatre company and Midsummer Night's Dream by Yohengza Theatre company for example).

Coex and Olympic Stadium sometimes play host to international thingies (like Rocky Horror at the moment), but the venues are not great.

As for Daegu... well our theatre company performs there twice a year, but we sort of aim for the 6 to 11 year old market! Still if you know any kids hankering to see an English language musical then we're the guys to watch... We should be in your neck of the woods in February 2011 (though nothing is confirmed yet).

There is always the Daegu Opera House: http://www.daeguoperahouse.org/eng/sub01/01_01.asp (English site)

The Daegu Culture and Arts Centre: http://artcenter.daegu.go.kr/
(Where on the 22nd and 23rd of October you can see the Lyon National Opera Ballet perform Giselle which should be fantastic... if you like ballet)

Earlier this year there was the Daegu International Musical Festival:
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/FU/FU_EN_15.jsp?cid=753010
So hopefully you'll be able to catch that in the future...

And for expat antics there's also the Daegu Theatre Troupe:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=89994425369

There are a couple of other theatres in or near Daegu, but I can't find them online at the moment.

So if you look in the right places at the right times we may well find yourself in for a treat. Hope this helps...