War drama comes to Seoul theater
By Rachel Lee
“Incendies,” about a woman during a civil war in a Middle Eastern country mirroring Lebanon, will run for three weeks at the Myeongdong Theater, Seoul.
Moviegoers will be familiar with the Canadian film of the same name, directed by Dennis Villeneuve that was adapted from the original stage play, “Scorched” written by Lebanese-Canadian Wajdi Mouaward.
“Our play has more or less the same storyline as the movie,” director Kim Dong-hyun said at a press conference at the downtown theater on Tuesday. “As space is limited, we tell the entire story by words only.”
“Scorched” first premiered in France in 2003 and received critical acclaim in Germany, Greece and the United States. Villeneuve decided to make a movie version of it in 2010 after becoming fascinated with its intensity and depth. His film adaptation won numerous awards including Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Sound Editing at the 31st Genie Awards, the Canadian movie industry equivalent of the Oscars.
“Incendies” is a moving and touching tale of twins who voyage to the heart of a war, encountering deep-seated hatred and their mother’s enduring love for them. The brother and sister head to the Middle East to fulfil the last wishes of their mother, Nawal Marwan, who had lost another son. Tragically the mother and son do not recognize each other when they meet. Years later, Marwan discovers the ghastly truth of their relationship — a real twist in the story.
A distinguishing feature of the play is that three actresses play Marwan at different ages, in her teens, 40s and 60s.
“Sometimes, I just want to run away from my role as Marwan because I can absolutely feel and understand the sadness and hardship that pervades the story,” said actress Lee Yeon-gyu, who plays the mother in her 60s.
Another interesting point to look at is the multiple roles played by most of the actors and actresses during the three-hour performance.
“My team and I are confident that we will give our best performance,” said Kim.
The play will run from June 5 through July 1. Ticket prices for “Incendies” range from 20,000 to 50,000 won. For more information, call 1644-2003 or visit www.MDtheater.or.kr.