Musicals

An adaptation of a Greek play more than 2400 years old interpreted through the medium of an early 20th century Korean performing practice does not immediately sound a promising theatrical experience, except perhaps to the handful of people who appreciate both Euripides’s take on Homer and Changgeuk’s adaptation of Pansori. Nevertheless, the Purcell Room had […]

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Korean performers at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe

by Events Editor 17 July 2018
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I make it that there are eleven Korean or Korea-related performances at this year’s Fringe, plus one workshop. It’s nice that Brush Theatre are putting in their regular appearance – always popular with the younger audience – and we have newcomers such as Korean-American stand-up comedian Olivia Rhee and, from Kazakhstan, telling the story of […]

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National Changgeuk Company in Trojan Women

by Events Editor 17 May 2018
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I hope I’m not setting my expectations too high, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is near the top of my list of events of the year. Trojan Women National Changgeuk Company of Korea | Ong Keng Sen Queen Elizabeth Hall Sat 2 June, 7.30pm | Sun 3 June, 5pm | Tickets £22 – […]

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Theatre visit: 1446 – The Story of King Sejong the Great

by Philip Gowman 27 February 2018
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Visitors to Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square, and anyone with a cursory acquaintance with Korean history, will know of the existence of King Sejong. His statue dominates the broad avenue that leads southwards from Gwanghwamun itself, gazing into the distance towards the other great hero of Joseon history, Admiral Yi Sun-shin. Are the life and achievements of […]

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1446, The Musical – the preview of a show on the life of King Sejong

by Events Editor 5 February 2018
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Coming up, there’s a chance to preview the English version of a new Korean musical focusing on the life of King Sejong: 1446 The Musical – Workshop 17 February at 17:00–19:30 The Other Palace Studio | 12 Palace Street | London SW1E 5JA Register via EventBrite After a successful run in Korea last year, we […]

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Fringe review: Monkey Dance

by Philip Gowman 31 August 2017
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This is a fun musical in which eight incredibly energetic and athletic performers leap around on stage to the musical accompaniment of a quintet of vocalists, beat-boxer and bass. There’s a loose story-line (not that it matters too much as the emphasis is on the music and action) in which an explorer comes to the […]

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Brief Fringe review: Behind the Mirror

by Philip Gowman 31 August 2017
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The Fringe version of Behind the Mirror, at 1 hour, is half an hour shorter than the full version that has successfully been performed in Korea for many years. In the version presented at the Fringe, the tale of Princess Pyonggang and General Ondal is told very briefly before a parallel story is told in […]

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Think Korea 2006 – an introduction

by Philip Gowman 17 August 2017
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Think Korea 2006 was an ambitious programme of cultural and other events organised by the Korean Embassy as part of the “Korea-UK Mutual Visit Year”. There was, I believe, a reciprocal series of UK-related events organised in Korea, but I never saw any publicity about it. One event I do know of: the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra […]

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Korean performers at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe

by Events Editor 16 June 2017
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A detailed mining of the Edinburgh Fringe website reveals twenty Korean performances plus one talk this year. Magic show Snap makes a return, along with the ever-popular drum show Tago, both part of a “Korean Season presented by AtoBiz Ltd” – who also bring new acts Kokdu and Ensemble Su. I must say I’m a […]

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Event news: Flatmates v Zombies 2, at Tristan Bates Theatre

by Events Editor 29 September 2016
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If you missed out on Flatmates v Zombies in 2013, as we did, don’t miss its remake. Coming to the Tristan Bates Theatre for one night only. Flatmates v Zombies II A Korean ‘KPop’ comedy zombie horror musical set in London. Tristan Bates Theatre | 1a Tower Street | London WC2H 9NP | www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk 3 […]

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Miss Saigon to get Korean star

by Philip Gowman 29 January 2014
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Hot on the heels of a Korean star appearing on the West End stage in Les Mis, Miss Saigon is to get a Korean lead in the shape of Hong Kwang-ho starring as Thuy. He appeared in the first Korean production of Miss Saigon a couple of years ago, according to producer Sir Cameron Mackintosh. […]

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Na-Young Jeon to feature in Les Mis in West End

by 앤서방 13 November 2013
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Not sure if this has been flagged up before, but the current production of Les Misérables has a Korean lead in Na-Young Jeon as Fantine. The first Korean lead role in a West End musical? I went last night and she was fantastic, as were the rest of the cast. Na-Yeong Jeon is scheduled for […]

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The ROK Air Force parodies Les Mis

by Philip Gowman 5 February 2013
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For those who, like me, find musicals a bit of a chore, here’s a 13-minute parody of one of my least favourites. It almost makes me want to try the real thing all over again. Almost, but not quite. Well done the ROK Air Force’s 22nd Fighter Wing. Les Miserables ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air […]

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Gumok: a simple, powerful portrayal of the story of a young Comfort Woman

by Philip Gowman 17 July 2012
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In general, my heart sinks when I have to go to a musical. I’ve rarely come across a piece of music theatre from the last 50 years where the quality of the music and lyrics has lived up to the ambition of the production as a whole. The two big Korean musicals that have shown […]

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Gumok, a new musical at the Chelsea Theatre

by Events Editor 14 June 2012
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News of an interesting new musical getting an outing for one day only later this month in Chelsea, featuring the stories of the Korean Comfort Women: Gumok Date: 30th June, 2012 Place: Chelsea Theatre (SW10 0DR) Time: 5pm and 8pm Price: Pay what you like (min. £1) Project Team Gumok presents a new musical “Gumok” […]

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From Local Monsters to BEAST: 1500 years of Korean music and dance at SOAS

by Philip Gowman 17 April 2012
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Last weekend’s free seminar at SOAS ranged from Silla dynasty lion dances to last month’s tour of Taiwan by BEAST, and from ancient Confucian ceremonial music to Samulnori and hip-hop via Trot. Juhae Gu introduced us to the dying musical form of Akkeuk (악극) – a form of stage musical using Trot music. It is […]

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Yun Ho-jin’s musical Hero, on stage in New York

by Philip Gowman 31 August 2011
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“Bombastic” is the New York Times’s view of Yun Ho-jin’s musical Hero http://t.co/2tsHSdf – Exactly what I thought of his previous one, The Last Empress, when it showed in London in 2002 #

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