Monarch to open medical centre and enjoy monkey show
His Majesty the King will next Friday preside over the inauguration of the Sayamindradhiraj Medical Institute near Siriraj Hospital and grace a monkey show, which is being specially performed at his request.The King will be accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Clinical Professor Udom Kachintorn, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital said on Wednesday.
The event is scheduled to start at 5pm with the King formally unveiling the statue of HM King Chulalongkorn holding his son, Prince Siriraj Kakudhabhandu, who died at age of two and for whom the hospital is named.
The monarch will then inaugurate the Sayamindradhiraj Medical Institute, which comprises the Centre of Excellence, the Centre of Applied Thai Traditional Medicine and Sirirajphimukhsthan Museum.
The event would be broadcast via Radio Thailand.
"HM the King has told me twice that he wishes to see a monkey drama troupe, therefore, we contacted Prakit Sitpragaan to perform the show after the King completes the opening of the medical institute. Prakit Sitpragaan is the only remaining monkey troupe in Thailand at present," the dean said.
When asked which the storyline he wished to see, the monarch said he preferred funny acting, the dean said, adding the show would last about 20 minutes. The King would be there for a total duration of about one hour and 20 minutes.
Dr Udom added the King's health is developing step by step but that he requires continuous physical therapy while Her Majesty the Queen's condition has returned to normal and she is now able to walk.
The Prakit Sitpragaan troupe comprises five monkeys that would be dressed and wearing make-up. They are able to dance and lip synch. In the past, this monkey theatre was performed at local fairs or at temples during religious ceremonies. Such troupes have now all but disappeared from Thai society. Masters of the show usually performed stories adapted from Asian classical novels and folklore and were able to do so in both Thai and English.