Anatta Theatre Troupe’s “Len Likay: Play of My Life” is up for best movementbased performance. /PHOTO: KOBPLOY TANSAHAWAT
Anatta Theatre Troupe’s “Len Likay: Play of My Life” is up for best movementbased performance. /PHOTO: KOBPLOY TANSAHAWAT

Thai stage honours: the race is on

Art November 13, 2017 01:00

By Pawit Mahasarinand
Special to The Nation

2,358 Viewed

Thai pioneer of modern dance Naraphong Charassri to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from IATC

THIS APRIL, the Thailand centre of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) honoured the exemplary stage works from 2016, and now IATC’s only national section in Southeast Asia is ready to do the same for those from 2017.

But, wait, this year is not yet over. In fact, they’re only considering stage works by Thai artists, premiered from January 1 to October 31 for the IATC Thailand Dance and Theatre Awards 2017.

In other words, the list of works considered for 2017 awards is shorter than that of previous years. However, from next year onwards this will go back to the 12-month season and works premiered from November 1 this year to October 31, will be considered for 2018 awards. The exceptions are works that are part of the ongoing Bangkok Theatre Festival (BTF), all of which are up for “BTF Awards by IATC-Thailand”, and 10 awards will be handed out on the same evening. With this convergence scheme, BTF itself will become the year-end showcase of contemporary Thai stage, and the beginning of the new stage season. 

Full Fat Theatre’s “Co/Exist” is up for awards in seven categories. /PHOTO: SIRIMA CHAIPREECHAWIT

Leading all nominees is FullFat Theatre’s “Co/Exist”, which is up for an unprecedented seven awards – best play, original script, direction, art direction, as well as performances by an ensemble, male and female artists, respectively Peter Knight and Punika Rangchaya. It’s noteworthy that seasoned playwright and director Nophand Boonyai had been nominated many times before and had been completely shut out. And in case you missed it last time at Warehouse 30, it’s being restaged this Wednesday to Friday at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC), as part of the inaugural Bangkok International Performing Arts Meeting (BIPAM).

B-Floor's experiential performance “Blissfully Blind” is nominated for four awards./PHOTO: TEERAPHAN NGOWJEENANAN


Another strong contender is B-Floor Theatre’s “Blissfully Blind”, which is being nominated for best movement-based performance, direction, art direction and performance by an ensemble awards. That means it will compete neck-to-neck with “Co/Exist” in three categories. The fact that both these two critically acclaimed works were staged in non-conventional theatre spaces – a warehouse and an art gallery – reflects an important trend in Thailand’s stage works this year. 

Inspired by a cult Japanese film, Splashing Theatre’s “Thou Shalt Sing” is vying for three awards. /PHOTO: PATHAVEE THEPKRAIWAN

Splashing Theatre, the year’s most prolific company is also recognised, with two of their works up for six awards. Their “Thou Shalt Sing: A Secondary Killer’s Guide to Pull the Trigger”, seen at Crescent Moon Space, has nods for best play, adapted script and performance by a male artist, Thongchai Pimapunsri, who won this same award two years ago. Thongchai, whose new work “What I Talk When I Talk About Grinding” opened yesterday in the BTF, is also getting two more nominations for co-directing and co-writing with Thanaphon Accawatanyu “Teenage Wasteland: Summer, Star and the (Lost) Chrysanthemum”. In addition, this young troupe’s largest scale and most ambitious work is also up for best play– and that’s competing with their own “Thou Shalt Sing”. 

In a year that has seen the number of musicals drop significantly, three musicals by two companies are up for best musical and book of a musical—Fascinating Four’s “21 3/4” and Maya: The Art and Cultural Institute for Development’s “Let’s Move the Mountains” and “Aesop’s Fables Cabaret”, now onstage at its studio theatre near Chatuchak weekend market.

IATC-Thailand Centre will honour Chulalongkorn University’s dance professor Naraphong Charassri with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Finnish dance critic and scholar Jukka O Miettinen wrote about “Khru Tam”, as we know him here, “What makes Naraphong exceptional is that he masters modern dance as well as classical Thai dance and western ballet, and he feels at home even in the commercial entertainment industry.”



“IATC Thailand Dance and Theatre Review 2017” and “BTF 2017 Awards” take place at the fifth floor auditorium of BACC (BTS: National Stadium) this Sunday at 7pm. 

All dance and theatre artists and audiences are welcome: light snacks and refreshments will be provided. 

For more details and complete list of nominees, visit