The Other Land

24 11 2008


I didn’t write anything here for a while (3 months, to be exact). I was on a mission doing something I mentioned earlier on this blog. Yes, I got back to do theatre again. Yippie!

The play we did was called ‘The Other Land’, inspired by the late Kanokpong Songsomphan’s 1996 S.E.A. Write winning collection of short stories of the same title.

We (I mean B-Floor theatre group) have never done this kind of play before. Normally, we created something based on our own creation. So it was quite terrified at the beginning ’cause we really had no idea how it would be.

The process of work was almost the same. Workshop, Improvisation, Group Work, Solo Work etc. There were 9 actors in the cast which came from different theatre training & background. We basically were devoted to this piece. For me personally, I finished my work at 7 PM, took the skytrain to the rehearsal space, warmed up, rehearsed, finished rehearsing at, at least 11 PM and some day it was up to 1 or almost 2 AM then I headed home….dead in my bed.

So…that’s why I didn’t write anything.

But the result was totally overwhelming. I couldn’t be more proud of being a part of this piece.

ไม่ได้เข้ามาอัพเดทบล็อกเสียนาน เนื่องจากติดภาระกิจสำคัญที่เคยเขียนไว้ก่อนหน้านี้

….ในที่สุด เราก็ได้กลับไปเล่นละครอีกครั้งเสียที

เรื่องล่าสุดที่เล่นไปก็คือ “แ่ผ่นดินอื่น” ซึ่งได้รับแรงบันดาลใจมาจากหนังสือรวมเรื่องสั้นของ กนกพงศ์ สงสมพันธุ์ที่ได้รับรางวัลซีไรท์ไปเมื่อปี 2539 เป็นหนังสืออีกเรื่องหนึ่งที่ทุกคนควรจะได้อ่าน และปัญหาก็อยู่ตรงนี้เอง เพราะพวกเรา (หมายถึงกลุ่มบีฟลอร์) ไม่เคยทำละครเวทีที่นำหนังสือมาดัดแปลงแบบจริงๆจังๆเลย ซึ่งมันก็ค่อนข้างยาก ทำให้สุดท้ายพวกเราก็ตัดสินใจว่า เราจะนำเฉพาะบางเรื่องในหนังสือมาชูเป็นจุดเด่น นำมาสร้างเป็นแรงบันดาลใจ ให้ได้กลิ่นอายที่ใกล้เคียงกับหนังสือมากที่สุด ยอมรับเลยว่า ในตอนต้นๆของการสร้างงานนั้น ค่อนข้างจะหนักใจมากอยู่เหมือนกัน

ละครเรื่องนี้มีนักแสดงทั้งหมด 9 คน ทั้งเก่าและใหม่ผสมกันไปแถมยังมาจากกลุ่มละครต่างๆที่ได้รับการฝึกมาในรูปแบบที่ต่างกันออกไป ทำให้ต้องมีการปรับและสร้างความกลมกลืนในกลุ่มกันใหม่ ส่วนตัวเราแล้วก็ทุ่มให้กับละครเรื่องนี้อย่างเต็มที่ เลิกงาน หนึ่งทุ่ม ขึ้นรถไฟฟ้า ไปถึงที่ซ้อม วอร์มอัพร่า่งกาย ซ้อม ซ้อม ซ้อม ซ้อมเสร็จประมาณห้าทุ่มหรือบางคืนก็ล่วงไปถึงตีหนึ่งหรือตีสอง…ถึงห้องก็หลับเป็นตาย

แต่สรุปแล้ว ผลลัพธ์ที่ออกมาก็ดีมาก ได้รับคำชมจนรู้สึกตื้นตันไปตามๆกัน และเราก็ภูมิใจมากที่ได้เป็นส่วนหนึ่งในละครเรื่องนี้

Here’s the review from Bangkok Post:

B-Floor Theatre’s new stage work reflects pours lights into the fissures in Thai society.

Inspired by the late Kanokpong Songsomphan’s 1996 S.E.A. Write winning collection of short stories of the same title, B-Floor Theatre’s engaging work “The Other Land” (or in Thai “Phaendin Uen”) cannot be timelier. Though they are more than 12 years old now, these tales of social conflict in the three troubled southernmost provinces are still a perfect mirror for today.

For example, in the first scene titled “The Cat of Buteh Krue Sor”, a Muslim woman was mistakenly shot by a policeman who never seemed to be able to adapt himself to a new culture. Her body wrapped in a national flag, she was hailed a hero.

In a lighter scene titled “Waste of Land”, the audience was taken to behind the scene of the shooting of an anti-Communism propaganda film—a reminder to us perhaps that we should never read one newspaper or one TV channel in this day and age.

The evening’s highlight, or climax perhaps, is the last scene “The New City”, in which the citizens seemed to be enjoying the “Utopia”—otherwise known as democracy—at first, and, shortly after, started suffering from more and more requests, rules, regulations, and injustice brought forward by politicians and/or businessmen.

The usually mundane auditorium has been transformed into a theatre in the round and the audiences surround the actions on all four sides. Well complimented by nifty sound design, the actions are right in our face, intimate, and captivating, and, some actions take place behind one section of the audience seats. With limited yet effective use of costume and props, the nine performers in black t-shirts and pants are a unified ensemble with high energy, although some younger members’ movements show lack of physical theatre experience.

My dance reviewer counterpart wished that B-Floor’s veteran members Teerawat Mulvilai and Jarunun Phantachat should also be performing, apart from working, very efficiently here, as, respectively, director and producer.

The 75-minute performance has English translation of all narrations and dialogues, professionally translated, projected on one side of the wall, and foreign audiences will, given also its highly physical nature, enjoy it as much as Thai counterparts.

“The Other Land” is part of the Pridi Banomyong Institute’s “Multi-disciplinary Arts Festival”, comprising visual arts exhibition, theatre, music, and film screening, as part of the Arts and Society 2008 series, in the 35th anniversary of 14 October 1973. Other plays scheduled for this weekend are Sunthorn Meesri’s solo work’s “Being John Alone”, Bangplay Theatre’s “Maha Nakhorn 2008”, Naked Masks Group’s “The Alchemist”, and Crescent Moon Theatre’s “Sea Beside”.

“The Other Land” continues tonight (October 24) until Sunday (October 26) at 7:30pm at Poonsuk Banomyong Auditorium, Pridi Banomyong Institute, between Thong Lhor Soi 1 and 3 (or five minute walk from Thong Lhor BTS station). Tickets are Bt 250, bookable by calling 089 667 9539. For more, and comwww.PridiInstitute.

written by Pawit Mahasarinand

published in Daily Xpress on Friday, November 24, 2008

photos courtesy of B-Floor Theatre


Climbing Up A Stairway

24 06 2008

During the process of Silent Noise, we also did another performance in the name of The International Wow Company. It’s called ‘Stairway To The Stars’. Imagine how crazy we were trying to do two big, brand-new productions at the same time? Yes, indeed. We were young, full-of-energy & totally out of our minds.

‘Stairway To The Stars’ was, yet again, a collaboration between Thai members, US members & a dance group from Japan led by Lee. The process of work was simple for us Thai. We separated into groups, solo, duo, trio or whatever and was given a task or a certain theme to create & develop into a short piece of performance. Then, we sewn them altogether. Thai members were familiar with this kind of work because we had done this since the very beginning of the company. But, unfortunately, the Japanese didn’t get it. They came from a dance & butoh background so they didn’t have no clue how would we glue all of pieces together and made it make sense. But, the show had already been started and Japanese never gave up. They continued doing it and we had a fight from time to time but everything resolved when the show was on stage.

For me, I had a great time doing this piece. I was lucky teaming up with two great female Japanese dancers, Sawami Fukuoka & Michie (sorry Michie, I really can’t remember your last name…it’s been a long time!). We created a piece which we were aliens. It was so much fun working & sharing weird & funny ideas with these two girls. I remembered when we had to show our piece to other group. We were rolling on the empty, dirty, narrow street. Then, we were dancing on the side way of the main street while other group watching on the other side and people on motorcycles were riding by and taking a strange glance at us like, ‘what the hell you’re doing’. It was such a great memory.

and here’s the contact sheet of all photos I’ve had.

Contact Sheet

Silent Noise

11 06 2008

As I said before that I was so proud of this performance. I found some pictures from the show which were shot by Lee-San himself.

The process of shooting was easy. He played the videotape (errrr….10 years ago? we had no DVD at that time) and shot directly at the TV screen. At the time of our performance, for some reasons, we forgot to do a photo call! What a shame. But For me personally, I prefer this way because they look raw and have an ‘indie’ feeling. The first photo was directly from my scene. The second one was from P’Jay’s scene. And the last one, one of my favorite scences of the show, was P’Bow.

And the next photo is my selling shot. I do look like a tiger or….a dog. And it’s not from the makeup like it seems. I think it was from the lighting and the camera angle.

Well, I prefer look like a tiger than a dog, actually. Grrrrrrrrr….

Yearning To Get Back

9 06 2008

Although I can call myself as an actor-slash-performer-slash-dancer, I haven’t been on stage for quite a while. More than two years to be exact.

The reasons?

I was quite bored of it. I was bored of never-ending rehearsals (after my day job from 8-11 pm) every single day. I was bored of no matter how much energy you put into the show, the audience numbers never grow. Most of all, I was bored of my life. I thought I’ve spent too much time for theatre and never had a chance to do something else. I thought theatre was one hella good reason that I couldn’t find a (proper) boyfriend.

Two years later without any performances, I am still single.

After my intention to put theatre aside, I spent a lot of time partying. Party, party & partaay. Sure, it’s fun and great. I get to meet lot of new friends. But every time I saw my friends still living their dreams in theatre and kept doing better and better, I got jealous. When I saw them perform, I always imagine what if I am in that play…What would I do? How would I dance? That scene might be better if it had my idea adding into it…etc.

So in fact, I’ve never put theatre aside after all. It’s always with me. It’s one of my passion for more than 12 years. And It always will be.

I should get back to do it soon, really, before I get too old.

Desire can live forever but your body can’t.

Nightmare Fever

8 06 2008

Due to the new addiction to my new blog I just created, I’ve been searching for stuff to put on here. I decided to make this blog a collective of my memorable moments, people, places & things. Just in case I turn 60 and can’t remember shit, hopefully I’ll remember this blog and might bring me back home.

Anyway, through my searching, I found this.

“Silent Noise”, a collaboration between Dance Rhizome (Japan) and members of the International Wow Company @ Kad Theatre, Chiang Mai. 1999

This performance really stucks in my memory. It’s a scene from the Butoh performance called ‘Silent Noise’, created by Dance Rhizome’s Ryoiji Oka (Lee) – a well-known Butoh master. It was a collaborative dance piece which each performers would transform their weirdest, scariest nightmares into a dance scene. During the rehearsal stage, it was my first time to encounter such a extraordinary workshop. One of his method was a body contact. You had to lie on other performer’s body and feel each other breath. Trust me, it was very, very uncomfortable but I had a great time and actually really want to work with this group more.

The performance surprisingly turned out to be so great. At first, I had no idea how it would turn out because it was my first time experiencing Butoh dance and we had such a short time rehearsing. But after the show, many people gave us a great comment. Even my acting teacher – Ajarn Jiraporn, said it was one of her greatest experiences in theatre.

Yes, I’m so proud of it.