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Korean-language play to be staged at Belgian theater

Jan. 18, 2023 - 11:56 By Hwang Dong-hee
Poster for play “Chronicles of Alibis” (KOFICE)

A Korean play called “Chronicles of Alibis” will be staged at KVS, Brussels, on Wednesday, the first time a Korean-language play is being performed in Belgium.

English subtitles will be provided, according to the Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange, which organized the performance in conjunction with the Korean Culture and Information Service.

“Chronicles of Alibis” is an autobiographical narrative of playwright-director Kim Jae-yeop’s father and older brother. Kim, who is head of Dream Play These 21, used their real names for the characters of the play -- Jae-yeop; Jae-jin, his older brother; and Tae-yong, his father.

Produced by the National Theater Company of Korea in 2013, the play won several awards, including the Best Korean Play of the Year in 2013. The play had its most recent run at Myeongdong Theater in Seoul in 2019.

A scene from “Chronicles of Alibis" (National Theater Company of Korea)

The story begins with Tae-yong, a graduate of the Republic of Korea Field Artillery School and a veteran of the Korean War, shedding tears in front of a boot camp.

He is waiting for his son, Jae-yeop, who has just completed a four-week boot camp before being sent to his unit.

The drama delves into the reason behind the father's tears, interlacing the ups and downs of Korea's modern history.

Eight actors from the 2019 Korean run will perform on the Belgian stage on Wednesday.

Actor Nam Myung-ryul will play Tae-yong; Jeong Won-jo the younger son Jae-yeop; Lee Jong-moo the older son; Jeon Guk-hyang the mother; Yu Jun-won the uncle; Yoo Byung-hoon the cousin; Ji Choon-sung a boy; Baek Un-cheol a newspaper boy; and Yoo Jong-yeon an election campaigner.

Seven of the actors except Yoo Jung-yeon, who joined the cast for the 2019 run, were in the original cast from the 2013 premiere.

A scene from “Chronicles of Alibis" (National Theater Company of Korea)

The performance is part of the “Traveling Korean Arts” project by the KOFICE, in cooperation with Korean Cultural Centers abroad, which aims to introduce Korean arts and culture to overseas audiences.

Reservation is required and can be made through the official site of the Korean Cultural Center in Belgium.