The annual Suntaraporn musical takes on life after death
Back for its sixth year, the ever-popular “Suntaraporn the Musical” tells the story of love after life in its new instalment, the appropriately titled “Kho Phob Nai Fun” (“I’d Like to See You in My Dream”).
Three pairs of young actors and actresses with a strong singing background, namely Nut Thiewpaingam, Pimprapa Tangprapaporn, Jiraroj Sarunanithiroj, Metal Sukkhao, Pattarapong Wesakami and Nisachon Siewthaisong, star in the drama, which tells the story of Diew (Jiraroj), a man who is shot dead by a robber while trying to protect his girlfriend. Diew’s spirit, however, is able to track down his bereaved girlfriend Nan (Metal) after she moves to another province following his untimely death.
With the help of a psychic, Diew’s spirit manages to convince Nan that he means to stay around and keep his promise of being with her forever. He manages to possess the body of Chettha (Nut), a young and wealthy man who dies suddenly, the victim of a heart attack, while also reuniting Chettha with his girlfriend May (Pimprapa).
The musical features rearranged versions of 24 much-loved songs from the repertoire of the Suntaraporn Band, which was founded and led by the late bandmaster Eua Sunthornsanan. Directed by showbiz veteran Wachara Paniam and written by Watchara Waewwuthinan, it is a joint production of the Suntaraporn Foundation and JSL Global Media.
The first Suntaraporn musical was held in 2011, a year after Eua was honoured by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organisation (Unesco) as one of the world personalities.
In addition to the singing and dancing, as well as emotional scenes and clever dialogue, humour spices up the musical although it has to be said that some of the gags fail to deliver.
Comedienne Deejai “Pad Thai” Deedeedee, who plays the psychic Vanda, plays an important part in drawing laughter thanks to her quirky sense of humour and equally quirky delivery.
Familiar political players and events, as well as current affairs, are mentioned during the play, with the dialogue taking non-malicious and discreet digs at the junta, the submarine purchase, Article 44, a popular figure with 6 million Facebook likes, the prime minister’s four questions, the weekly exercise session at Government House, the school tea money scandal, and the recent frying pan advertisement.
The stage sets and props are simple and minimalist, and changes of sets are smooth.
Despite the young cast, the audience last Sunday afternoon was made up mainly of middleaged and older Thais, mainly of them accompanied by kids and grandkids.
And they all showed they knew their Suntaraporn songs, happily joining in with the actors for the closing number “Dao Lom Duen” (“Stars around the Moon”) and broadcasting their vocals on Facebook Live.
The actors showed their appreciate too by coming down into the audience pit and posing for selfies.
Old tunes, new arrangements
- “Kho Phob Nai Fun” continues at M Theatre on New Phetchaburi Road every Saturday and Sunday until July 23, at 2pm. No performances will be given this weekend (July 8 and 9) due to the Buddhist holiday.