Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mood swings

Taking the applause of the audience. LtoR: Belle, Chenda, Saveth, Phou, Yann and Nimolika

Thoroughly enjoyable is how I would rate tonight's Chenla Theatre performance of the spoken play, known locally as Lakhaon, by director Jean-Baptiste Phou called Cambodia, Here I Am. Phou brought a variety of mood shifts including comedic moments aplenty into play as the four main characters took turns to explain their personal stories on stage, interacting seamlessly with each other, the music, the stage lighting and even the translations on the side-screens, in French and English. This in particular, helped make the play much more accessible to the large expat audience, though the performance itself was in Khmer throughout. The director included many pertinent, and current, themes in the dialogue and didn't hold back with a few home truths, which gave the play considerable relevance. The addition of one of the country's best loved actresses, Dy Saveth, gave the show a major headline name though her three co-stars were of equal importance and did a perfect job in making the whole performance come together so successfully. Yim Nimolika, Pumtheara Chenda (also highly regarded for her classical and contemporary dance skills) and Kauv Ly Yann are to be congratulated for their true to life characterizations. Plays of this quality are few and far between.
Pumtheara Chenda (red) and Dy Saveth in a scene from the play

One of Cambodia's finest actresses, Dy Saveth

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