Edinburgh Fringe 2009
Korea Arts Management Service
Venue: C Venue 34 Chambers Street
An enchanting fairy tale from Korea
The first image of this enchanting Korean fairy tale is a white fluffy dog playing and making funny squeaking noises, but then she suddenly does a huge pooh! And plays with hiding the pooh! Even an experimental theatre person like me found it a bit embarrassing explaining to my daughter of 4 that the doggy is playing with her pooh! So not a European storyline, and I loved it. The cast of 6 performers where so playful and skilled, professional delivery in every inch of the piece.
The costumes are so refined, the choice of textures was poetic, simple and gave the whole a mysteriouse feel, mixing the traditional Korean cuts with modern pinky chicken plastic style.
The whole play takes off when the little doggy pooh turns into a human size pooh costume for the brilliante actress Yoo-Jin Seol who very charmingly portrays what it is like to be and feel like “shit”, loved by no one and ashamed of herself. The production dares to go deep into difficult emotions like shame for their young audiences. The story is based on a bestseller children’s book in Korea, and the author Jung-Saeng Kwon never took any money for himself, always gave all his income to children in need and lived in poverty himself, working as a bell ringer in the local church.
The kernel of this piece is so genuine and beautiful in it’s meaning and their slogan is “nothing god made is useless.” So I, my daughter and the whole audience engaged with the little pooh and how life can be so shitty, we saw how she was rejected by the sparrow, the hen mother and when she thinks she finds a friend who is a lump of dried earth, they have some nice moments and an mutual understanding for each other, But even the lump of earth gets found and picked up and put in use by a farmer.
How to be useful is the main question, so little doggy pooh is alone again. And a lovely night scene took place in the theatre, in complete darkness fire flies starts buzzing around us, and a charming narrator in English tells us the feelings over speakers.
The production values in the set and lighting is so delicate and very high quality so it is lovely to be with the company, the performers used their excellent movements skills. At one point I thought this is like a Korean Comedia del arte show, the sparrow character was just like harlequin, and I liked the parts when they did not use words just sounds to express them selves.
At last the little doggy pooh is found by a dandelion seed, and there is someone who needs her in order to blossom, they dance together and it was so moving when the little pooh transforms into a plain beautiful dandelion, it was so moving I had tears in my eyes, her face was so expressive, her happiness so fresh, she was beaming of warmth gratitude to at last be put into use. A must see of a children’s show.