Will Thai theatre offer an account of the flooding like the Japanese are in dealing with ‘3/11’?
Playwright-director Yudai Kamisato had had a revelation.
“I felt it was finally time to come down off my high horse,” Yudai wrote in the house programme for his “Hemispherical Red and Black”, which the
At least the horrors of “3/11” also brought inspiration. In fact, the immigrants’ experience in “Hemispherical”, he said, “is not a faraway world”.
Immigration is a relatively new issue for long-isolated
I noticed more foreigners working there on my trips this year to
Festival/Tokyo’s mostly Japanese works came with more English surtitles and synopses.
At the same time, more Japanese are living and working abroad. Just look at the surge in genuinely authentic Japanese restaurants in
The Peachum Company presented Kohei Kiyosue’s thought-provoking and suspenseful “Resurrection” in a park near the
Director Norishige Kawaguchi had his characters arriving by truck and taxi. The main couple are dog lovers who venture into the 20-kilometre evacuation zone around the nuclear plant to put all the abandoned pet pooches to sleep. It’s mercy killing, but it leaves them traumatised. In seeking to regain their balance—and a measure of equanimity—the man decides to kill all the dogs in
Clearly Thais and Japanese share a soft spot for canines, and this fine blend of reality and fiction reminded me of the dogs left in dire straits during our flood crisis.
Both “Resurrection” and “Hemispherical” felt post-apocalyptic, the former with its wooded grove in the park where people vanished and reappeared, the latter with its blood-stained sculpture lurking behind a black curtain.
Both reflected on the strong political relationship between
Despite the massive scale of the calamity, the Japanese remained calm and in control, not unlike the Thai good humour that persevered through the flooding. The distress within was quite apparent in both cases, but the medium of theatre enables a deeper understanding of what the news media fail to show.
Let’s see whether the Thai theatre community responds to the deluge in a similar vein next year.
written by Pawit Mahasarinand
published in THE NATION on Friday 30th December, 2011
HEMISPHERICAL photos by Yuta Fukitsuka/
RESURRECTION by Tsutomu Hirahaya/ courtesy of Festival/Tokyo
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