• TV hostess Pimlada “Pear” Chaipreechawit, left, and award-winning stage actress Varattha “Anne” Tongyoo as endearing couple Suchitra and Chansuda. Photo courtesy of 8x8 Theatre Studio
  • TV hostess Pimlada “Pear” Chaipreechawit, left, and award-winning stage actress Varattha “Anne” Tongyoo as endearing couple Suchitra and Chansuda. Photo courtesy of 8x8 Theatre Studio

Two women, whose baby?

Art July 10, 2017 01:00

By Pawit Mahasarinand
Special to The Nation

2,969 Viewed

A veteran playwright explores women’s relationships and the power of social media in his new play



Like Daraka Wongsiri, Silpathorn artist and playwright Nikorn Sae Tang has seen several of his works published. After much acclaim for his title role in Nophand Boonyai’s “Happy New Year, Mr Smith” and a mask performance collaboration with Indonesian and Japanese artists in “Ocean’s Blue Heart”, he’s now ready to premiere his new play “Boy o’ Mine” (in Thai “Dek noi khong chan”).

The tagline immediately grabs the attention: “Two women are in love; one is expecting!”

“I’m interested in a women’s relationship because it directly deals with birth,” explains the artistic director of 8X8 Theatre Group.

“After fertilisation the man can pass away but the woman cannot. She needs to stay alive so that our race continues. And so I thought that a play about two women who’re in love with each other and one of whom gets pregnant without a man would be interesting. From this incident, the play can then develop further,” he says.

“And in writing this play I’m not campaigning for LGBT rights. Any relationship, heterosexual or otherwise is an ordinary relationship that doesn’t need special attention.” 

             TV hostess Pimlada “Pear” Chaipreechawit, left,  and award-winning stage actress Varattha “Anne” Tongyoo as endearing couple Suchitra and Chansuda. Photo courtesy of 8x8 Theatre Studio 

In the play, when Chansuda becomes pregnant, she swears to her lover Suchitra that no man has been involved and the latter has no doubt she’s telling the truth. Here, Nikorn questions whether the baby is a saviour who’ll lead the human race to ultimate peace, or, more simply, the result of Chansuda’s infidelity. But this extraordinary pregnancy case goes viral on the social media and that affects the couple’s romantic relationship.

“We have to admit that the social media is consuming, if not devouring, our world. It’s inescapable. The play is filled with my social, economic and religious comments,” Nikorn adds,

Former “Strawberry Cheesecake” hostess Pimlada “Pear” Chaipreechawit and IATC-Thailand award-winning actress Varattha “Anne” Tongyoo portray Suchitra and Chansuda, respectively. 

“This is a more mature role [than I usually get, given my height] and also in a much cooler tone [than my previous roles]. Chansuda is a historian who’s both firm and passionate in her thoughts,” Anne says. 

“I’ve taken some scholars’ observations and adapted them. I don’t want to stereotype them as straightforward and boring people. After all, this middle-aged lady’s hormones are up and down all the time.

“In comparison to an all-male couple, two women might not be as exciting. We see girlfriends holding hands and we think it’s friendly and cute. Perhaps that’s why we don’t get to see them on stage or screen that much. In this play, though, we’re proving that a pure relationship between two women, with a major conflict, is also stageworthy.”

Nikorn explains his casting choice, “I’ve worked with Anne before and I think she’s perfect for Chansuda. I met Pear when she played a small role in ‘Mr Smith’ and I admired her potential, sensitivity and determination. With her TV background, we’ve been working on how she can express her emotions more clearly, how to adjust herself to the space and how to interact with her stage partners. As for the actor’s inner realism and interpretation, she’s done a lot of homework.”

TV hostess Pimlada “Pear” Chaipreechawit, left,  and award-winning stage actress Varattha “Anne” Tongyoo as endearing couple Suchitra and Chansuda. Photo courtesy of 8x8 Theatre Studio 

Anne adds, “She’s a very straightforward person who always speaks her mind, and after some adjustment, we’re now on the same wavelength”. 

Wisarut “Blaboom” Homhuan portrays other supporting roles, and Nikorn adds, “All nine male characters actually, and a guest actress – Sumontha Suanpholrat in the first week; Prachayanan Suwanmanee in the second – will be his wife.”

Nikorn is back at Creative Industries, where his “Phop Rak” opened the space and where he also staged “Ocean’s Blue Heart”. 

“Fully equipped, its size is just right, not too large or small, and its layout gives me much flexibility in staging. Also, the owner [my junior counterpart] Panisa Puvapiromquan is always a great supporter of my works,” he explains.

Nikorn is one of the very few Thai playwrights to make sure his works are translated into English and projected above the stage. For this new play, he smiles, “Yes, of course, we’re working on it – hope we make it in time for the opening night.” 

This translation is not only useful for the non-Thai speaking audience. The surtitles recently prompted a theatre company in Auckland to present a reading of the English translation of his play.

EXPECTING SOON

- 8X8 Theatre Group’s “Boy o’ Mine” is from July 21-24 and 27-31 at Creative Industries, on the second floor of M Theatre, on New Petchaburi Road between Ekamai and Thonglor. 

- The curtain rises at 8pm and there’s a 2pm matinee on July 29. 

- It’s in Thai with English surtitles. 

- Tickets are Bt 500 (Bt 400 for students, advance money transfer only), at (089) 762 5521.

- Find out more at Facebook.com/Theatre8X8.