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NTOK Live+ lets theatergoers enjoy plays from UK, Netherlands onscreen

March 22, 2024 - 16:56 By Hwang Dong-hee

The National Theater of Korea will screen three plays in April as part of NTOK Live+, a program introducing prominent overseas theatrical performances.

The three plays -- Ivo van Hove’s “The Hidden Force,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” and Lyndsey Turner’s “The Crucible” -- were produced by the International Theater Amsterdam; DryWrite, Soho Theatre and Annapurna Theatre; and the National Theatre in London, respectively.

They will be screened in their original languages with Korean subtitles.

“The Hidden Force” (Courtesy of Jan Versweyveld)

“The Hidden Force” by Ivo van Hove is based on a 1900 novel by the Dutch writer Louis Couperus.

Set on the colonized island of Java in the Dutch East Indies, the play centers on the conflicting cultures and tensions between colonizers and the colonized.

Otto van Oudijck, who sees himself as the representative of a superior European culture, governs his province with vigor. He lives for his work and for the colony, which he wants to elevate to a higher level. But when Van Oudijck dismisses a local regent for misconduct, mysterious things start to happen in his house and around him.

"Fleabag" (Courtesy of Matt Humphrey)

“Fleabag” was written by English actor and screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who performed it in the one-woman show, which premiered in 2013 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The play follows the story of a free-spirited yet emotionally conflicted young woman in London. The character, plagued by a series of unfortunate events, loses her best friend in a car accident, subsequently breaks up with her lover and is shunned by her own family while her cafe suffers from financial difficulties.

The show was also adapted into a British comedy-drama series starring Waller-Bridge. The series won two Golden Globe Awards in 2020, clinching best television series and best actress in musical or comedy. She received further Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for writing and producing the spy thriller series “Killing Eve” (2018–2022).

“The Crucible” (Courtesy of Johan Persson)

Last to watch is “The Crucible” -- Arthur Miller’s classic play that director Lyndsey Turner revived and premiered at the National Theatre in London from September to November 2022.

The story centers on witch trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts, in the 17th century, depicting how a collective frenzy can destroy individuals and society.

Erin Doherty, best known for portraying Princess Anne in the Netflix series “The Crown,” plays Abigail, whose past affair with a local farmer leads her to stoke fears about witchcraft.

The detailed screening schedule is available on the National Theater of Korea's official website.

While “The Crucible” premiered in Korea in February of last year, the other two plays will make their debut screenings in Korea.

“The Hidden Force” and “Fleabag” are recommended for audiences aged 18 and above.