I was feeling grumpy when I went into this show and had decided I was not going to enjoy it. I had rushed to get there having just got off the train. It had started late, and if it overran I wasn’t going to have time to get to the next show. And I’m not […]

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Fringe visit: Girl

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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Modl Theatre Company is perhaps best known in this country for its work aimed at younger audiences, but it is a diverse company which also engages with more adult material too. And you can’t get much more adult than a graphic description of the surgical procedure that the Japanese forced upon young Korean girls so […]

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Fringe visit: Dandelion’s Story

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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What on earth makes a theatre company think that creating a piece about doggy poo is a good idea? How do you persuade an actress that taking on the role of a talking turd is a big break for her? Well, firstly, this production is aimed at children, and kids of all ages find poo […]

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Fringe visit: Tiger in Blossom

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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This is a simple retelling for children of the Korean folk tale of the Tiger and the Woodcutter, in which a woodcutter, about to be killed by a tiger in the forest, persuades the beast that he used to be human, and is in fact his elder brother. The initially sceptical tiger eventually falls for […]

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Fringe visit: The Song of Beast (after Hamlet)

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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Imagine Hamlet scripted / co-directed by Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy), Ryu Seung-wan (Veteran / Unjust) and Yoon Jong-bin (Nameless Gangster), with dialogue input from Yang Ik-joon (Breathless), and music by Cho Young-wook (Oldboy) and you’re starting to get close what this production is like. The setting is moved from Denmark to an abattoir which has a […]

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Fringe visit: Chef – Come Dine with Us

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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A Korean physical theatre / comedy performance involving cooking? Does that sound like Nanta? Well, yes. We loved Nanta when it came to Kingston and were happy to see what this seemingly very similar show had to offer. Judging by the poster, it certainly had a thoroughly ripped male torso to entice you. The scenario […]

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Fringe visit: Snap

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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This show was far from being my highlight of the Fringe. The audience seemed to enjoy it, and the reviews are very favourable, particularly from families with children. I myself couldn’t help feeling that I’d seen it all before: the sort of sleight of hand magic tricks you see done on TV variety shows.  On […]

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Fringe visit: Tago – Korean Drum II

by Philip Gowman 24 August 2016
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On paper, one hour of Korean drumming doesn’t sound appealing, but this type of show is consistently popular with fringe-goers. There is enough variety to keep the audience interested, from Buddhist temple percussion to Samulnori, and the energy and enthusiasm of the performers is infectious. There is also some very non-traditional percussion: a trolley which […]

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Event news: Chuseok at the British Museum

by Philip Gowman 15 August 2016
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Advance notice of the Autumn festivities at the British Museum, coinciding with the start of the K-music Festival. More details coming soon Chuseok Festival at the British Museum Thursday, 15 September 2016, 11.00am-5.00pm: “Understanding Chuseok” Lectures and musical performances Friday, 16 September 2016, 6.00-8.30pm: “Celebrating Chuseok: the Korean Harvest Moon Festival” Musical performances, K-pop DJ, […]

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The World’s First Referendum – and its aftermath

by Matthew Jackson 8 August 2016
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Korea is a country of hidden wonders. These wonders, which have remained hidden in some cases for centuries, are continually being unearthed. Many have something to teach us about the world we live in today. The Sillok – royal annals that documented every day of the Joseon dynasty for the five centuries it governed Korea […]

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Song Si-yeol, the scholar with the chisel

by Philip Gowman 4 August 2016
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I have now visited three places where Joseon dynasty scholar-official Song Si-yeol has made his mark. In none of the places did I register the connection until after returning to London; in two of the places I never got to see the mark he left (there wasn’t enough time on the schedule) and in the […]

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Songlines reviews some Korean releases

by Philip Gowman 3 August 2016
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As if to warm us up for this year’s K-music Festival, Songlines July issue reviews three recent Korean CDs: The one of most interest to past attendees of the festival will be a review of Jambinai’s latest release, A Hermitage. Songlines were strangely lukewarm about it. Not so Consequence of Sound: “Experimental outfit blends traditional Korean […]

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K-music 2016 – the official press release

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2016
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The 2016 K-music festival offers a really exciting line-up. Here’s the official press release with links to more details about the individual concerts. Book your tickets at www.serious.org.uk/k-music – where you can also get a festival pass: all 7 concerts for just £70. There’s also a special section dedicated to the festival on the KCCUK website. K-MUSIC […]

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Event news: K-music 2016 — Modern Table present Darkness Poomba, 24-25 Oct

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2016
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The final performance of K-music 2016 blends contemporary dance with traditional song and rock music. Modern Table present Darkness Poomba Monday 24 & Tuesday 25 October | 8.00pm The Place | 17 Duke’s Road | London WC1H 9PY £16 (plus concessions) + Booking fee | Book here Choreographer Kim Jae-Duk and his group of dancer/musicians […]

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Event news: K-music 2016 — Danpyunsun and The Sailors + Asian Chairshot, 21 Oct

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2016
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The second of K-music’s gigs at the Rich Mix bring Danpyunsun & The Sailors and Asian Chairshotback to the UK for a double bill. Danpyunsun and The Sailors + Asian Chairshot Friday 21 October | 7.30pm Rich Mix | 35-47 Bethnal Green Road | London E1 6LA £12.00 + Booking fee | Book here One […]

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Event news: K-music 2016 — National Gugak Centre, 12 Oct

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2016
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No festival of Korean music would be complete without some sanjo, and it’s good to welcome back the experts. National Gugak Centre Wed 12th Oct 7.30pm Kings Place, Kings Cross Tickets £8.50 | Book here Piri Sanjo – Haegeum Sanjo – Daegeum Sanjo Interval Stravinsky: Soldier’s Tale – Devienne: Sonata No. 2 – Bartók: Contrasts […]

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Event news: K-music 2016 — Kyungso Park & Andy Sheppard, 11 Oct

by Philip Gowman 2 August 2016
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This is the most experimental gig in the K-music festival this year, and promises some unrepeatable music. Kyungso Park + Andy Sheppard Tuesday 11 October | 9.45pm (stage time) Royal Albert Hall / Elgar Room | Kensington Gore | London SW7 2AP £15.00 + Booking fee | Book here Saxophonist Andy Sheppard premieres a new […]

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