My first Korean play – in Korean and my subsequent little research trail about the phallus!

‘OGU’ on Saturady at the Jeju Arts Centre featured one of Korea’s most famous actresses, Kang Bu-ja.

An extract from an article: The play has been seen by some 2.6 million people since its premiere. Regarded as a humorous and contemporary look at death through the Korean shamanistic ritual, the play was praised by many foreign reviewers as an exhilarating, charming and enjoyable work.

“Ogu” is a Korean traditional performing art, which combines drama and various traditional rituals through dance and song similar to mask dances and “madanggeuk,” forms of Korean traditional outdoor performance.’ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/art/2008/03/145_20436.html

IMG_5790

Saturday’s show at the Jeju Arts Centre has sent me on a little research trail. Students were shocked and surprised by some of the costuming decisions. See pic above. When I asked if the phallus was an aspect of Korean folk or theatre tradition – I was told no. Wait a minute I thought – hasn’t the phallus appeared in some shape or form in quite a few theatre traditions, indigenous art forms etc?

This question lead me to a dissertation: ‘Directing Koreanness: Directors and Playwrights under the National Flag, 1970-2000’.  Turns out the phallus pops up in Korean Puppetry tradition and this writer believes this tradition might have been influenced by Greek theatre. Really? I’d need to be convinced.

Anyone interested in Korean Theatre could start with the publication below…

publication_Theatre in Korea http://www.gokams.or.kr/Data/GKBM29/publication_Theatre%20in%20Korea.pdf

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About La (Paula) Mor

La (Paula) Mór is a theatre teacher and director. She has taught and directed in the UK and internationally for 20+ years, both at Secondary and University level. La is currently working on Jeju Island in South Korea at Branksome Hall Asia where she develops original, contemporary theatre with her students and continues research into the applications of the Viewpoints in Theatre Education. La has been trained in Anne Bogart's 9 Viewpoints by SITI Theatre Company and Zen Zen Zo and delivers international Viewpoints training to young people, undergraduates, performers and lecturers. Academic background: BA(Hons) Bristol University; PGCE Leeds University; MA Applied Theatre, Central School of Speech and Drama.

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