Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Curtain closes on 2011 Lakhoan Theatre Festival




Curtain closes on 2011 Lakhoan Theatre Festival

Curtain closes on 2011 Lakhoan Theatre Festival

110919_19a
Members of the Piano Peanor cast after the play’s debut performance last week. Photo by: PHOTO SUPPLIED

A TEAM of actors and dancers  from the Mozart Music Centre wowed crowds at the Lakhoan Theatre  Festival last week, with a performance of their new play, Piano Peanor, at Chenla Theatre.

Translated as “Piano Monkey”, the performance was a one of the stand-outs at this year’s Lakhoan Festival, organised by the Institute Francais.

Drawing in the audience with a tranquil display Khmer traditional dance, the routine was suddenly cut by the sounds of  gunfire and falling bombs, sending the actors scuttling for cover to the far corner of the stage.

Re-emerging dressed in black with fluorescent skeleton bones painted on their costumes, the actors resumed their ghostly dance, a sequence which the play’s director, Hang Rithyravuth, described as a depicting the horrors of war.

“The core message of the story is about living, morality, and immortality. The story talks about the family of artists’ teachers who have separated by the war. Their bad memories and sadness have remained after the war,” he explained.

“So my purpose is also to remind the country leaders about the wrong ways of governance that could not find the immortality,” Rithyravuth added.

At the conclusion of the one and a half hour show  Rithyravuth told the Post, he wrote Piano Peanor especially for the Lakhoan Festival, and believes the play’s first public performance was a huge success.

“I think one reason it was a success is that my imagination and ideas have been shown to an audience. Another  reason is that I’ve trained successfully artists who have never performed on the stage before.”

Rithyravuth said he had been considering writing a play about the horrors of war for a long time, and submitted the idea to the organisers of the Lakhoan Festival earlier this year.

Sourcing the troupe’s costumes and constructing the set of the play only started two months ago, said Rithyravuth, a few days after he  selected the play’s 21 person cast from students at the Mozart Music Centre.

Other cast members were recruited from actors training at the Royal University of Fine Arts, he added.

Rithyravuth explained that he wants to keep the Piano Peanor team together and is searching for new ideas for the group to perform.

After graduating  high school in 1985, Rithyravuth won a scholarship to study music in Russia.

Returning to Cambodia in 2000, after a 15 year teaching career spent overseas, Rithyravuth founded the Mozart Music Centre.

Held annually since 2007, the Lakhoan theatre festival is funded by the Institute Francais and aims to showcase  new interpretations of traditional Khmer theatre, dance and music.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,