Edinburgh 2016

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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Korean performers and artists at Edinburgh Fringe 2016

by Philip Gowman 14 June 2016
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Once again there’s a strong Korean showing at the Fringe this year. It’s particularly nice to see Modl Theatre in the UK again, this time with three productions. Two of them are geared towards families and children, but the third is a something darker: a new and topical production on the theme of the wartime […]

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