With the prolonged monsoon season and COVID-19 still lingering, we wouldn't be blamed for wanting something to help alleviate stress, and there's a play that can do exactly that.
“The National Theater Company of Korea’s first new play of this year -- 'Hwajeonga’, marks the 70th anniversary of the theater’s foundation. After being postponed for around six months, it finally kicked off last week.”
The play shows nine women enjoying certain aspects of their daily lives in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province.
Family members arrive from all over the country to celebrate Mrs. Kim's sixtieth birthday, and instead of having a large banquet, Mrs. Kim suggests they should enjoy 'Hwajeon' instead, a picnic of rice cakes with spring petals.
All the women look thrilled to dress up in beautiful Korean traditional clothing -- hanbok, and eat delicious food.
But, in the early 1950s, even before the Korean War broke out, the peninsula was going through troubling times trying to decide the political direction of the country after being liberated from Japan's colonial rule.
Nine of the women's husbands or sons had either passed away, or were sent to prison due to conflicts of ideologies. And so, it cannot be overlooked that the whole family were going through some trying times.
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"I believe the visitors will be able to relate to the story. It's nine women banding together while waiting for their loved ones instead of being overwhelmed with sorrow."
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"Even Korean audiences might find it hard to understand the dialects spoken. But I can relate to Shakespeare's work, even without fully understanding the language. I believe foreigners would also be able to enjoy the beauty of the play."
English subtitles will be provided every Thursday and Sunday, and the show will run until August 23rd.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.