Saturday, June 25, 2016

Stick Figures Bangkok.

Photo: Production Promo.

Josh Ginsburg’s Stick Figures has landed in Bangkok with performances in both English and Thai in a production directed and designed by Pattarasuda Anuman Rajadhon, I caught the English performance on Thursday night.

Stick Figures plays at the Thonglor Art Space. Take a right down a skinny alley, past a florist shop, and up a flight of steep fire stairs and through an industrial entrance. Floor to ceiling windows, a coffee bar, and some sofas and chairs lounge in minimalist style. Down a flight of stairs into the performance area where a modular set sits and a swing hangs from the ceiling.
Lights dim, action.
A mother, father and son are grieving the loss of their seventeen year old daughter. What better way to soften their pain than to hire a surrogate daughter to play the part of their daughter? Why not have the daughter move into the family home and act as she did, speak as she would have spoken - the family can remain as normal.
Photo Credit. Natty's phone.

What could possibly go wrong?
That’s where Molly steps in - a professional surrogate who gathers all information from the grieving relatives and steps in to play the part of the dead. Another of Molly’s clients is Samual who has lost his wife to cancer, the pair were having bedroom problems before she left him. Hire a surrogate to act as his dying lover. What could go wrong here?  
Star of the show Sasapin Siriwanji plays her surrogate parts with chilling ease, switching from the seventeen year old daughter to the dying wife of Samuel played by Bangkok stage regular James Laver. I particularly liked the character develop of Molly who appears at first to be a callous broker of loss, but has, of course her own reasons, and her own scars to hide. Scars revealed and examined by Peevara Kitchumnongpan who impressively plays grieving brother Graham with an emotional range admirable for an actor of his age. Quanchanok Chotimukta’s part as mother Carol owned a humorous kitchen table coffee scene, and Dennis played by Cholatep Nabangchang was consistent in his performance as husband and father.     
Huge credit goes to design. The set switches from kitchen table to teenage bedroom to doomed lover’s nest enabling fluid scene changes as the action segues from one interwoven tale to another. As the play drew to a close and in the most powerful scene, leaves of A4 paper rained down on the cast from a printer rigged up with the ceiling lights. A wonderful touch.
Match Figures plays in both English and Thai, but be quick final show is on the 29th June.  

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