A lovely way to round off our first day in Seoul was by attending a production of “Miso” at the Chondong Theatre; Miso meaning beautiful smile. Miso is a production featuring the classic heroine Chun Hyang Jeon and the love story between her and her lover Mongryong. Previously, in London, we’d seen a modern telling of this story through the medium of modern ballet, called ‘‘La Chun Hyang’‘. We have to admit, we weren’t the biggest fans of the ballet version, so when we heard we’d be seeing another version of this story, we weren’t so sure if we’d enjoy it. How wrong we were!
Story ~ ‘Miso: Love Stories of Chunhyang’ tells the story of a romance between Chunhyang and Mongryong, and of Byeon Hakdo’s unrequited love for Chunhyang. Chunhyans is a proud and impetuous young woman who falls for Mongryong, the typical scion of a Joseon-era aristocratic household, but is assailed by the one-sided attentions of the possessive Hakdo.
A love triangle takes shape between the assertive young woman who remains steadfastly devoted to her love, the intellectual young aristocrat, and the district magistrate, a sensitive man who aggressively expresses his love for Chunhyang.Hakdo has a chance encounter with the young woman while participating in the rites of the Dano festival, which is held in the month of May. As the rites gives way yo the holiday’s traditional performances, Chunhyang and Mongryong begin their secret romance with an exchange of eye contact. Meanwhile Hakdo grows ever more fixated in his longing for hte woman whose beauty has captivated him.
This story is told without much dialogue, so would be suitable for any audience and a lot of traditional performances are incorporated into the story which really gives us a taste of all things Korean! The show consists of a mix of traditional Korean melodies and singing, accompanied with dance and comedy performances, all the performances are so emotionally charged that you don’t need to understand the lyrics to be able to follow the story. Even before the main story began, the audience was involved as two clown type characters invited members of the audience to the stage to get partake in some fun tricks. You knew from the start that this performance would be energetic and fantastically fun!
The colours, costumes, music, dancing – everything – was so lively and vivid that you couldn’t help but enjoy yourself. The costumes really were absolutely gorgeous, especially the men’s surprisingly! As foreign Korea fans, we’ve seen our fair share of Hanboks, but the men’s costumes always seem so plain. Here we some some fabulous and elaborate outfits on the men! The cast members also gathered together outside at the end of the play outside so people had a chance to dance along, take photos and meet the performers. One of our favourite moments was when one of the theatre staff, all in traditional dress, became a temporary traffic warden at the end of the play!
Overall we give this performance a DAEBAK! Even though we were deliriously tired from jet-lag when we entered the theatre, we were quickly energised by the amazing cast and performances. We loved the main characters, all the dancers and the two comedy characters, we loved everyone; the chemistry between the cast was just AMAZING! All the music was played live and the drumming performances were immense! The ladies especially! Deemed the Korean Romeo and Juliet but with a happy ending, we think this show is great for adults and kids alike! If you are in Seoul and looking for a bit of cultural fun entertainment, make sure you visit the official website for more information.