New production injects comedy into traditional Khmer drama

New production injects comedy into traditional Khmer drama

A restyling of a Cambodian legend has been produced to cater for a modern audience, keeping alive the traditional art form of 'lkoun basac'

A NEW comedy taking style and costumes from the traditional form of Cambodian drama known as lkoun basac will go on show at the Olympic Stadium, amid concern over the aging art form's longevity.

Kraithong Krapeur Chharavann, a Cambodian legend about two friends studying magic, has been rewritten with contemporary language and comic stylings to attract modern-day audiences. In the story, one of the magic students accidentally transforms himself into a crocodile after ignoring his master's instructions.

Ouk Socheat, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said at a press conference Tuesday that only the style and costumes of lkoun basac have been retained for the production.

"The performers are not trained in lkoun basac," he said. "They consist of contemporary actors, boxers, singers and comedians, so it is very hard for them."

Ouk Socheat claimed that not many people are interested in lkoun basac anymore, but this new production is a good chance to show the disappearing art form.

Pol Vibo, vice president of Cambodian Television Network, the company responsible for the show's production, said they thought carefully about the impact of this production on lkoun basac, but admitted that if the comedic element was omitted, "nobody would want to watch it".

Yok Chinda, producer of Kraithong Krapeur Chharavann,  said the show's aim was to increase public awareness of the lkoun basac drama style in an attempt to continue its practice in public drama performances.

"I hope the mix of boxers, actors and karaoke singers will get support from the public. So far we have sold 4,000 tickets, and we plan to sell a further 20,000 tickets," she said. "Now I know that Cambodian people support our Khmer shows more than foreigner shows."

Performances of Kraithong Krapeur Chharavann start on Wednesday at Olympic Stadium, from 7pm to 9:30 pm. 


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release