BWW Review: MIDNIGHT at DCF Daemyung Culture Factory Bldg. 2 Lifeway Hall, 'Knock Knock Knock!'
When it was officially announced that MIDNIGHT the musical was coming back for its second performance in South Korea, many were excited. The show was advertised that it had an "update" I had the opportunity to see the updated version of the show and it was something that I had not expected at all.
MIDNIGHT had its first performance last year in Korea. Though it was not a relatively common show in Korea, the musical received much love with its catchy songs and a good cast. For the first production, the set consisted of two floors, showing the inside of a house. Also, there were a total of 5 actors, 3 principle actors, and 2 multi-actors. Late November this year, England stated that they were having the premiere of MIDNIGHT. After that, it was announced that MIDNIGHT was to be played again in South Korea. Many fans of the show were excited to see the musical again, however, were placed in a state of confusion after seeing the updated version of the e musical.
There were many various changes made to the updated version. To start off, the five character cast was changed to seven characters and a pianist. The principles remained three and the other four characters were given the name, "player" where they performed instruments and acted on stage. In the former version of the show, all the orchestra members were hidden backstage. However, for this version, all of the members were on stage, either performing on the set or at the corners of the stage. This caused the attention to disperse, making it hard to focus on the actors because there were so many people on the small stage.
The two-floor set was changed into a single platform. The previous set had several details that clearly showed this was a house; there was a sofa where most of the action happened. Also, to implicitly show the power of Stalin, there was a head of a buck with huge antlers; however this was changed to a painting of Stalin laughing. The set had a piano for the pianist and a large table which seemed to have no use. Though there was more furniture because the set was much smaller compared to the former version, it felt like everything was crammed in. Also, the table was just a big obstacle blocking the actors' movement, also causing the actors to constantly show their back to the audience.
The songs and the lines of the show were the same as the previous production of the show. The new casts were amazingly talented at portraying the characters in their own way, still managing to harmonize with the former actors. Though the players of the instrument caused some confusion in the beginning, it is hard to deny that they added to make the show more lively and realistic in that the music was clearer to hear.
MIDNIGHT was one of the shows that I was looking forward to this year and this year's new production was both surprising and confusing. It would have been better if the show was clearly advertised as a totally different version than the previous production. Though it was mainly the set and direction that was changed, it could lead to much confusion and even disappointment to people who have expected to see the same production as before. Despite this issue, the musical was still an enjoyable show and it was interesting to see the show from a totally different perspective.
The invite to the mysterious world of NKVD is until February 10th. Tickets start at 44,000 KRW and can be purchased either on www.interparkglobal.com or at the box office. Do not forget to check the cast prior to buying tickets.
For more information, please visit www.interparkglobal.com.
Photo credit: Culture Photo