Colour-coded activists play peace role

national April 28, 2016 01:00


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RIVAL RED- and yellow-shirt political activists get on a train, heading to the same destination - named “peace”.

This is the key theme in “The Last Station”, a play which is part of a graduation ceremony of the sixth Advanced Certificate Course in Promotion of Peaceful Society at King Prajadhipok’s Institute. 
“The Last Station” has a train as its setting, telling a story of people with different political stances in a society travelling together with no escape.
“We thought about what could be the destination – or the last station – of the country – the station of hope for all Thais,” said the play’s writer and director Piyanuch Narkkong, about her inspiration for the story. “We did not get the idea from any films. We chatted and then agreed to go with this idea.” The play will be featured at the Government House complex on Friday and Saturday. It has been produced by 90 students of the peace course, a programme that attempts to bring activists from rival camps to learn politics together and in peace.
The play’s performers are the students in the class, including Pheu Thai former MP Vipoothalaeng Pattanapoomthai, and vocal red-shirt activist Sombat Boonngama-nong.
The play also stars Democrat former MP Tankhun Jittitsara, and two former key members of People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) – Veera Somkwamkid and Sirichai Maingram.
They have teamed up to present the play despite their backgrounds in different colour-coded political camps. The play has been crafted to demonstrate how people with different opinions can live together on the same life train peacefully, Piyanuch said. 
Piyanuch told The Nation the train houses a wide range of people. While it rolls towards the last station, she said, many problems and activities occur. The final station in the play is the destination of all passengers, she said, which is the station of “peace”. 
The full plot of the play has not yet been revealed and still remains to be seen, she said. 
Piyanuch insists the story has nothing to do with politics. She said it is just a mirror of Thai society at present. The play will also provide food for thought and let people think further on how our society can exist in harmony without conflict, she said.
Piyanuch said that prior to the debut on Friday, 21 performers had rehearsed the play for months. For the final rehearsal, the performers stayed together for three days at a resort in Khao Yai, from last Friday to Sunday.
“The performers put their hearts and minds into this great work. They switched off their mobile phones and talked together until 3am,” said Piyanuch, also a student in the same class. 

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