The premiere of the musical comedy by Khan Dean (based on the novel “Yangbanden” by Park Chi Won) “The Tale of the Yangban”at the State Republican Academic Korean Theater.
On this evening, April 21, it seems that the walls of the theater, its stage, and, of course, the audience, who were lucky to be the first witnesses of the updated, or rather, modernized staging of their favorite play, were waiting for a miracle. And such a long wait was not for nothing. To say that the fans of the Korean theater were looking forward to the return of the comedy is to say nothing. Along with other national-colorful works for ethnic Koreans, “Legend …” can be compared, first of all, by the visual range of comedy, musical design, as well as by the scenery on stage, except with a breath of fresh breeze, filled with the elusive smells of the native and close to the heart of the land with mysterious sparks of that capacious concept, which is commonly called the soul of the people themselves.
Among the repertoire variety of performances that can be seen in the Korean Theater today – and the choice of our academic theater is really very rich both in terms of themes, genres, and in relation to the spirituality of other national cultures developing in Kazakhstan – there are not so many similar to the current production. Perhaps, next to it you can put two favorite plays in a special way – “The Legend of the girl Chun Hyang” and “The Legend of the girl Sim Chen”. Along with them, the “Tale of the Yangban” was watched by theater-goers of different years in five productions, and all of them were modern and gathered full halls of fans of the Korean theater. The first stage director was Oleg Safronovich Lee, who also worked on this comedy, putting into it the main message – the play should be modern. But what touched souls in the 60s, today, alas, requires restoration, because a new generation of viewers has grown up, and times have changed, life requires new forms of presentation.
– Elena Kim, the current chief director of the theater, did a lot of work on the modernization of the play, – he says. – Of course, today the play appeared before the audience in a more modern form. It has become more dynamic and, perhaps, during the introduction of some innovations, it has somewhat lost its national flavor. What to do, time requires new approaches and needs to take into account the needs of the current generation. The performance of the XIX century – a sample of the 1960s – 80s of the last century and the performance of the beginning of the XXI century – are different in their form. Therefore, everything is justified and, I think, the new production by its own means brings to the viewer what the author wanted to say. And this is the most important thing.
Ancient history, which focuses on the everyday case of the lives of two neighbors – a seedy Yangban, who dreams of only one thing – to get fabulously rich, and a wealthy commoner, trying his best to get a noble title. By the will of fate, each of them gets what he dreams of in different ways. Yangban really needs money to pay the debt to the governor of the province, and after listening to the advice of Dolce’s servant, he decides to sell his title. A rich man who bought a “yanbanstvo” gets used to a new social status for a long time, but quickly becomes disappointed, they say, there is money and a title, but there was no peace, and there is no peace. After thinking about it, the neighbors decide to return to the old order of things. The comedy shows the beginning of the decomposition of feudal society and the birth of a new class – the bourgeoisie. The great humanist and thinker of the XVIII century, Park Chi-won, sharply criticizes the depravity of Confucian scholasticism, its system of various regulations that hindered the socio-economic development of the country. He ridicules the Yangban aristocrats, their parasitic lifestyle, corruption, moral corruption. The central figure, thanks to which stupidity and ignorance, greed and cruelty, immorality and venality of those who consider themselves the salt of the earth are mercilessly ridiculed and exposed, is the calculating, cunning, intelligent and savvy Dolce. For the sake of obtaining freedom for his beloved, he skillfully uses all the base goals of the rich man and the Yangban, attracting his natural resourcefulness. And although Dolce’s actions and deeds do not always look good, moreover, he often acts almost the same as his masters, you involuntarily sympathize with this hero. In some ways, he resembles the famous fairy-tale character from Kazakh narratives Aldar Kos, to whom all means are good to achieve the goal, although sometimes this goal is reduced only to simply eating delicious food or sleeping sweetly.
Comedy captivates the actors with the game. Alisher Makhpirov (Dolsa) is very good at roles like this. I remember his Aldar Spit, I remember the characters in small humorous scenes that made Alisher a master of such roles. Elena Kim, who played the role of a rich man’s wife, literally turned into her heroine. The versatility of the director, who seems to be able to do everything that can be played in the theater, admires. This season it is especially noticeable. At the recently held divertimento “Through Generations”, Elena was also among the most active performers, thanks to whom this memorable concert took place. Natalia Li simply shone in the role of Yangban’s wife, whose creative growth has recently been increasingly noted when choosing nominees for various awards in the republic. Sergey Kim successfully coped with the role of the rich man. His character turned out to be bright, very colorful. Boris Yugai in the role of Yanban and Marina Zhumasheva, the servant of the rich Prince, seemed somewhat unexpected, in a good sense of the word. Boris fully corresponded to his young, but already very arrogant and arrogant hero, who thinks only about his own material well-being. And the fragile Marina, as befits the bride of Dolce, just “fluttered” on the stage, fully revealing the image of a sweet girl who has no point in dreaming of a free life.
In general, from the very beginning of the performance, the hall was so taken into circulation that it was simply impossible to take your eyes off the paintings that were very quickly replacing one another. On the stage, everything was spinning, singing, indignant, indignant… life was going on on the stage – fleeting, swift and rapidly changing. And even in the scenes frozen for a moment, there were so many emotions that could not be displayed using other means of conveying characters. In this production, as in no other, the very high-quality work of both the chief choreographer Larisa Kim, and the composer Georgy Yun, and the production designer Yulia Chernova, and the costumer Liana Strelnikova was visible on the stage. Those who played minor roles – Eduard Park, Grigory Kim, Oleg Yun, Galina Kim and Galina Khan – also worked to reveal the main images and the main theme of the comedy.
The premiere of the comedy took place, which is timeless, and the very idea, soft, sparkling humor makes it so. Such a one is in great short supply nowadays! I will cite some of the sayings of the heroes, and you, dear reader, will agree with me that many could become winged. And so.
…And what’s the use of plugging holes when the foundation crumbles?
…When I don’t see you, my lord, for at least one day, I can’t find a place for myself, it sucks in the pit of my stomach!
…I should point out to you that a hole in a commoner’s fence is no different from a hole in a nobleman’s fence.
…Got it. For a distinguished guest, a lady, for a dog – vodka!.. Understood, first vodka for the mistress, then a dog for the distinguished guest!
…In order for a wise thought to be born, the head must first get a little muddled.
…The most delicious rice is the one that is cooked and eaten in debt!
… Any creature belonging to a Yangban has a Yangban honor!
… Nowadays, positions and titles are becoming more expensive fantastically, because they bring profits…
Is that enough? For all sorts of reasons, many similar statements could be heard from the lips of the heroes.
When the theater’s visitors were already going home, many asked the cashier: “When will there be a performance next time? I want to bring my mom.”
But how would the cashier know! I ‘ll tell you from the words of Oleg Safronovich Lee:
– In the next month. Keep an eye on the poster, because our repertoire is very often interfered with by events of national importance. Actors are fully involved there…
So we’ll keep an eye on the poster. And – see you at the theater, dear reader!