Friday, 2 June 2017

Behind the Dramaturgy: Go Theatre @ Edfringe 2017

GO Theatre Company - supported by Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea
UK Premiere 
Hugely successful a cappella musical representing Korea at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe grew from humble origins as a drama school project to an international hit 
C Venues (+1), 2 – 28 Aug 2017 (not 14), 15.55

Performed without set, lighting changes or sound design, GO Theatre Company’s award-winning a cappella musical is created entirely by its performers, who perform impressive acrobatic feats while simultaneously singing. 

Performed in Korean with English subtitles, Behind the Mirror tells the story of Yeoni, a princess’ maid, who steals her mistress’ belongings (including a prized mirror) and runs away to a cave the forest, developing a rich fantasy existence with Yaseng, a boy who has grown up in the forest. 

Yeoni happily pretends that she is the princess and teaches Yaseng to live like a normal human-being, but when she is discovered by spies seeking her and the stolen mirror her fantasy and her crime begin to unravel.

1. What was the inspiration for this performance?

It all started from the school workshop. Our professor gave us the assignment to express sounds in nature with human voices. I thought it would be more fun to combine the sound with the movement along with a little story, and I did it.
I saw the potential of this musical when I saw my professor’s astonished and excited face.

2. Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?

I think it is more relevant these days as it has a message that tells you to find “true yourself” rather than imitating someone else. Many people these days try to become someone else forgetting who they really are as the media has been developed significantly giving us so many stories about cool others.
I guess it is the period that we all need more support for true ourselves.

3. How did you become interested in making performance?

I worked on this performance for the graduation project with my friends who studied the human body movements together. As it is made with actors’ voice and movements, it was easy to deliver no matter where we go. We decided to visit places where people don’t usually have opportunities to experience shows like this. As it started to get good reviews, we made it as a long-term project.

4. Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
One very important thing only,
“No matter what, actors’ voices and movements ONLY!”
5. Does the show fit with your usual productions?
Every time we make shows, we use different materials, stories and ideas. Every show is different in our company. This show has its own uniqueness and values.

6. What do you hope that the audience will experience?

I hope the audience would think that every one of our life is all invaluable and it is not comparable to any others.

Furthermore, I hope that people would feel the fundamental value and necessity of the actor’s voice and movement in theatre via this particular format of the show.

7. What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

All the places that the actors see,
All the sounds that the actors hear,
All the songs that the actors sing,
Everything will be created by the performers’ bodies and voices.
This genuine and honest way to perform was our first strategy, and will not be changed after all.

The show started as a school project by at the Korean National University of the Arts, and went on to tour nationally and internationally; it will be presented in the UK for the first time at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

With bodies arching, curling and stacked in pyramids to create impressive visual images – all while the entire company sing, scat and create delicate soundscapes – Behind the Mirror make a beautiful immersive story for people of all ages, inspired by the traditional Korean tale of the princess PyeongGang who turns an ordinary man into a general. 

After successful runs in Daehakro (Korea’s West End), Behind the Mirror was selected as the closing act for the 2005 Busan International Play Festival, and toured Korea winning The Young Director’s Award, Best Director Award and Best Actress Award at the Milyang Summer Performing Arts Festival. 

In 2006 the show sold out its run at the Arko Theatre in Seoul, then had its first international tour in Yienbien, China as a part of an international cultural programme hosted by the ministry of Culture & Tourism followed by a successful US debut in LA and New York in 2008. 

With an average age of 29, most of the company graduated from the prestigious Korean National University of the Arts. Behind the Mirror started off as a school project at KNUA with a production budget of £750, but has now toured Korea extensively, beginning in small rural areas and finally reaching a national and international standing. 

GO Theatre Company’s Behind The Mirror is part of a showcase of Korean shows at the 70th Edinburgh Festival Fringe, supported by Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea - consisting of MEDEA on media, Behind the Mirror, TAGO: Korean DrumⅡ, Mind Goblin and SNAP. 

GO Theatre Company was named after the young company’s desire to ‘go’ to where their work is needed, rather than sitting and waiting for an audience to come to them. 

Since its first performance in Seoul in 2004, the company has reached out many culturally alienated rural villages and towns in Korea bringing diverse cultural experiences to the region. GO is currently performing a number of new experimental productions in Seoul including the play Judo Boy and New generation’s 100 minute discussion.
Suitable for all ages
Company Information
Basis / Directed by Joonho Min Written by Enui Choi
Composed by Sunrak Noh Produced by Insuk Jung & Hyukwon An
Line-produced by Ginny Kim

Yeoni Yoojung Kim Yaseng (Wild Boy) Hyunjin Ma
Sara/Pyeong-gang Ji-Hae Rhee Lai / Ondal Inyoung Kang
Soldier 1 Ji Hee Hong Soldier 2 Kyungwon Yang
Storyteller Yewha Seo Jin/Percussion Wonseok Cho

Listings information
C Venues (+1), Adam House, Chambers Street EH1 1HR (Venue 34)
2 – 28 Aug (not 14), 3.55pm – 5pm, Previews 2-4 Aug
Previews 2 - 4 Aug: £10.50 (£8.50 concs, £6.50 under 18s)
5-8, 12-13, 19-20, 26-28 Aug: £12.50 (£10.50 concs, £8.50 under 18s, 2for1 available 7-8 Aug)
9-11,16-18, 23-25 Aug: £11.50 (£9.50 concs, £7.50 under 18s)
15, 21-22 Aug: £10.50 (£8.50 concs, £6.50 under 18s) | 0845 260 1234
Supported by Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Korea.

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