This weekend is the last chance to catch Chaos (K24), Tainaner Ensemble’s (台南人劇團) marathon theatrical production performed in the manner of a TV series.
The groundbreaking satire, directed by Lu Po-shen (呂柏伸), will have its last shows tomorrow and Sunday afternoon at the Tainan Municipal Cultural Center Performance Hall (台南市立文化中心演藝廳).
All six episodes of the first season (seven hours in total with three intermissions) will be performed.
The innovative play was conceived by director/playwright Tsai Po-chang (蔡柏璋), who was inspired by TV series such as Friends and Alias.
The first two episodes premiered in 2005, while the completed first season, which consists of six episodes, was unveiled to widespread acclaim in 2007.
The show was revived in October to mark the Republic of China’s centenary. The second season is slated to premier in 2013.
Chaos (K24) tells the tale of the president of Taiwan’s daughter, who takes on the lead role in a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
However, the country’s security agency is tipped off that a terrorist has infiltrated the production in a bid to assassinate the leader’s child.
A rookie agent is sent to audition for a role in the production to counter the threat.
Actress Shih Hsuen-huei (施宣卉) portrays the first daughter, while actor Liu Che-wei (劉哲維) plays the agent. In total, 11 actors perform more than 60 characters in the story.
“This play is a black comedy with suspense and romance thrown in,” director Lu told the Taipei Times in a phone interview last week. “Its humor is influenced by the American sitcom. There are also lots of comic sparks from the colorful and eccentric characters.”
What: Chaos (K24)
When: Tomorrow and Sunday from 2pm to 9pm
Where: Tainan Municipal Cultural Center Performance Hall (台南市立文化中心演藝廳), 332 Jhonghua E Rd Sec 3, Greater Tainan (台南市中華東路三段332號)
Admission: Tickets are NT$1,000 to NT$2,400, available online at www.artsticket.com.tw or 7-Eleven ibon kiosks
On the net: k24chaos.blogspot.com
To simulate the TV series format, the play employs recurrent characters and pre-shot opening and ending video sequences in every episode.
A circular revolving stage is used to allow rapid scene changes and to emulate the multi-view shot common in TV shows.
For this revival, director Lu updated the story with recent news events, such as pop star Wilber Pan’s (潘瑋柏) unexpected win as best actor at this year’s Golden Bell Awards, and added a Bollywood-style music sequence.
“This play premiered in the year when our former first daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) was being stalked by the paparazzi. Many people thought the story was a satire of her,” Lu said. “But that’s simply a coincidence. The play is mostly a comedy with some social commentary thrown in.”