Aug 23-28 (12.00)
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
It has been a decade since Jungnam Lee’s Kokdu swept the award-boards at the 2008 Korea Theatre Festival, & it is being given in 2017 a renaissance for a new generation. Rooted in traditional Korean storytelling, it explores that oriental land’s shamanistic rituals and beliefs, while incorporating traditional folk songs, dance, masks & costume-work. yes, you get everything crammed into one tour de force hour. Korean theatre is proud of its roots, rather like the Tanzanians laud their Ngonjera, & it is no surprise that MAC theatre want to give us their unadulterated, untranslated best, & thus Kokdu is given to us in Korean as if we were watching it in some rural village in that fabled peninsular.
Reminscent of O Yong-Jin at his most creative best, the folklorist elements of Kokdu take on a fairy-tale guise for the voyeur, & immerse us all in a dreamscape habituated by archetypes & punctuated by Dantean sounds visionary scenography. Kokdu is a fine spectacle, & tho the story may be unfamiliar & lost to us in translation, the overall effect is rather pleasing & worth an hour to reflect on Edinburgh festivals being international at heart, & not just about comedians from London.
Reviewer : Damo