Pansori is partly pathos, partly fun: Amidst the pain, lament, and sacrific endured throughout the stories, there is also a lot of joking going on. Not only characters like a cheeky servant, a foxy monk, and a tricky rabbit that farts its enemies away, bear witness to the more comical layers, also the (generally) relaxed attitude of the singer, sometimes also called a gwangdae (광대), i.e. a clown, who shares some chit-chat with the audience in-between dramatic plot points is part of the fun.
At a workshop hosted by the KLTI in 2010, Matthias R. Entreß also noted that in earlier days pansori-singers might have had “a certain similarity to stand-up comedians” today, in other words: keeping a crowd entertained—sometimes for hours.
Well, the performance But:too (바투) takes this approach to the extreme: This “comic variety pansori” (코믹 버라이어티 판소리) is a two-men show. Two men? Isn’t pansori usually performed by only a single singer (and usually a woman, for that matter)? Not this time…
It is a story about an incompetent cop who accidentally raises to fame in a hostage situation and a casanova-style thief loved by the people—want to know more? Come and find out! Playing at Namsan Gugakdang the first weekend of April. Tickets might seem a bit expensive at 25,000 won, but there is a 50% sale if you book until March 28th (tickets at Interpark). For more information (in Korean) and directions see this homepage.
— April 2012
- <코믹 버라이어티 판소리 바투>, 출연: 이상화, 김봉영, 주최,주관: 국악누리, 기획: ㈜아트컴퍼니 바삭, 공연기간: 2012년 4월 6일 ~ 2012년 4월 8일, 공연장소: 서울남산국악당, 공연시간: 금요일 오후 8시, 토요일 오후 4시, 7시 30분, 일요일 오후 3시, 관람료: 일반석(전석) 25,000원, 문의: 02.755.9478/9, 02.2261.0500.
- Comic Variety Pansori But:too, performers: Lee Sang-hwa and Kim Bong-yeong, host and supervision: Gugak Nuri, planning: Art Company Baksa, on show from April 6th until April 8th, 2012 at Namsan Gugakdang, Seoul, Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 4 and 7.30 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m., tickets at 25,000 Won, inquiries: 02.755.9478/9 or 02.2261.0500.