Ticket Troubles, cont.

The next time I find myself in front of a box office that has sold out written all over it, I will go straight to the next bank and get myself a Korean account—whether that involves a fake identity or a straw man (any alternative suggestions are welcome). As I wrote in my exam yesterday: “오늘 극장에 갔다가 티큿이 다 팔려서 볼수 없었어요. 예매할 걸 그랬어요.”

The main building of the Seoul Arts Center is inspired by the shape of a “gat”, a pre-modern form of headwear worn by the upper-class. In contrast, the small theatre in the basement where “Sacheon-ga” is shown is called 자유소극장, i.e. Small Freedom Stage.

So I went to the Seoul Arts Center (예술의전당) for nothing except a paper cup of instant coffee. A planned to picnic on the artificial lawn in front of the World Music Fountain had to be delayed, too, as the rain set in the moment I left the building. I went back home and munched my kimbap while watching a live match of StarCraft on TV. Nothing beats some South Korean Alien Killers for dinner.

Anyway, next Sunday I will have another chance to see the show I missed today: “Sacheon-ga” (사천가), a pansori-style adaptation of “The Good Person of Szechwan” by singer-songwriter LEE Jaram (이자람). As I presented some thoughts on this production earlier this year, I spent countless hours watching a video recording while trying to follow the lyrics. Now I am looking forward to finally seeing the real thing. (a more in-depth look at “Sacheon-ga” will follow)

Anyone interested in traditional Korean music, avantgarde theatre, or creative live-art in general should check this out. Fortunately, apart from the shows at the Art Center (information in English) that end this weekend, there are some more guest performances this year: in Washington (Korus Festival) and Chicago (World Music Festival) in September; in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do, as part of the International Sori Festival (Oct. 3, see also this article on the festival); and at the Donggu Arts and Sports Center in Daegue (Nov. 11–13) in November. And next year Lee Jaram will perform in Paris (March 5–18). ~~~~ Save the day!

— 8 July 2010 (木)


About Jan Creutzenberg

Jan Creutzenberg, friend of theatre, music, and cinema, comments on his performative experiences in Seoul and elsewhere.
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