27 November 2008

The Message ลิขิตนาคา

While Thai politics is anything but stable, it's understandable that a growing number of people resort to escape from this stalemate and put their interest in something else altogether. Hence, I didn't spurn the opportunity when a ticket to watch The Message, a contemporary li-kay performance, was offered to me. Do I need to tell you that I rarely frequent a traditional Thai performance, let alone the li-kay, the narrative of which I found too predictable and lengthy.

Of course that perception has changed since I watched The Message or Likhit Naga in Thai the other evening at Lido Multiplex. The show was led by the Silpathorn winner Pradit Prasartthong, whose dance was obviously majestic. Part of the lyrics were made more up-to-date and with the use of such visual aid as the LCD projector the show was anything but obsolete. However, the traditional elements of li-kay remain, including improvisation, bling-bling costumes, and plots concerning divine or semi-divine entities.

The story involves a sojourn on earth by an underworld god -- a Naga called Malan. However, little does he know that his trip will endanger his life, as people on earth are ready to exploit him for various gains, including tourism and commerce. Of course, the ending is quite predictable with Malan getting angry wishing to castigate the earthlings by creating a big flood. Even though this plot sounds all too predictable for those regular li-kay watchers, one can't deny that it's also timeless and pretty much relevant to what's happening in Thailand at present. I only wish more people would turn up to watch this and learn something from it.

The performance is part of Bangkok Theatre Festival 2008. More details can be found here.

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