BWW Review: Memoirs of Happiness, THANK YOU VERY STRAWBERRY at Artone Theatre
A gray stage welcomes the audience as they enter the theatre. The stage seems very gloomy compared to other stages that people would have seen. When the first musical number starts, the audience meets a middle-aged woman sitting alone in the middle of the stage, while the other three characters move around the stage. The woman is expressionless, and whereas the musical number and the other characters seem lively, the woman in the middle of the stage is the only one who is cold and dull.
THANK YOU VERY STRAWBERRY started as a 20-minute short performance which developed into an hour-long reading performance performed in Korea National University of Arts in December 2017. Although there have been some minor changes with some of the characters and the last part of the show, the overall synopsis of the show did not change. A story of a middle-aged woman and a robot that is suddenly delivered to her house, and these two characters learning about their past and finding old memories that were left forgotten.
Emma, a middle-aged woman lives in a town called 'Single Town', where most people live alone. She is shown as a character who deliberately isolates herself from other people in her town. When the doorbell rings continuously one day, and she opens the door reluctantly, her life changes forever.
The scenic design and the lighting design of THANK YOU VERY STRAWBERRY is a part of the show that makes it special. The first impression of the stage may be mundane and colorless. As Stone, the robot that Emma opens her door to, comes into Emma's life, we see Stone's robotic screens beamed on the walls of the stage. Emma's emotion is also shown throughout the show by the lightings used throughout the show. When Emma starts to open up her mind to Stone, the stage becomes more colorful, making the stage look completely different than the initial gray stage that welcomed the audience as they came into the theatre.
There are memories that we want to forget, while there are valuable moments in our lives when we want the time to stop and want to remember the moment forever. THANK YOU VERY STRAWBERRY depicts Emma and her journey of finding these memories of her past that she left unattended to for a long time. As the audience follows Emma finding and remembering the memories that are priceless to her, they also find themselves thinking of their own memories that are valuable. The warmth that the audience feels as the show reaches the final scene makes people think of the ones that they love, and recall the precious time they spend with these people like Emma did.
Jeong Yung-Joo, Jung Yeon, and Yoo Yeon play the part of Emma, the protagonist who is to be changed for the rest of her life by a robot that suddenly rings her doorbell. Stone, the robot that Emma opens her door to, is portrayed by Lee Yool, Go Sangho, and Lee Hwijong. Miya, a little girl that acts an important part in Emma's memory, is played by Lim Yeasle and Park Jieun, and Bernard, the character who calls himself the protector of Single Town, is played by Choi Seokjin and Lee Sangun.
The heartwarming story of Emma and Stone is shown until October 28th, 2018. For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.globalinterpark.com/. Tickets can also be bought at the box office of Artone Theatre, Hall 2. Tickets start at 40,000 KRW. Make sure to check out the casting schedule prior to buying tickets, since the casting schedule is different every day.
THANK YOU VERY STRAWBERRY at Artone Theatre
Photo Credit: CreativeY