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Deconstructing Angkor’s secrets

Temples Decoded – a multimedia reconstruction. Photo supplied
Temples Decoded – a multimedia reconstruction. Photo supplied

Deconstructing Angkor’s secrets

Creative production company Bambu Stage will turn a fresh lens on the temples of Angkor tomorrow when it premieres its second show of the year, Temples Decoded. The program delves into the mysteries of Angkor with a characteristic interactive event designed to enhance – not replace – a visit to one of the world’s most popular travel destinations.

Temples Decoded capitalises on the dramatic presentation for which Bambu Stage has become known: Siem Reap local Wab Peakdeay has designed a modular likeness of a typical Angkorean temple, and he reconstructs it during the presentation so that the audience can get a feel for how the temples were built. The show draws upon live sketches, maps, photos and projections.

Bambu Stage founders Nick Coffill and Jon de Rule trawled dozens of books about Angkor to assemble the 40-minute multimedia show. De Rule’s technical skills in multimedia and events are central to the show, while Coffill’s passion for history and culture drive the story.

The show is presented at Tangram Garden, behind Wat Damnak, and the garden backdrop is ideal for the kind of presentations the curators bring to light. Rustic huts and winding paths lure you inside the private theatre for a night of entertainment. In the intimate setting, the stories of Angkor are unspooled before their audience.

Each performance of Temples Decoded is followed by a banquet dinner with flowing wine. Coffill, who has spent years working in exhibition design at some of the world’s best-known museums, and de Rule make themselves available for questions.

The pair founded Bambu Stage five years ago, setting out to promote entertainment focused on Cambodia’s history and popular culture.

Temples Decoded does just that. The first instalment of this year’s three-part program, Snap!, charts 150 years of photography history in the Kingdom. Later this year, Bambu Stage will showcase a group of young shadow puppeteers.

The pair are modest but can’t help feeling a tinge of pride when residents thank them for teaching them something new about Cambodia. “It’s kind of worth it, isn’t it?” says Coffill.

Temples Decoded starts tomorrow at 7pm at Tangram Garden and will run on Saturday nights. Tickets are $25, including dinner. Bookings: [email protected] or 097 726 1110.

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