Thai National Theatre brings the curtain down

Rama and the Demon King square off at the Thai National Theatre on January 7 and 9. Photo/FAD

The Thai National Theatre is calling its audience for the final, and most likely best-ever, performance in recent years before closing for three years of renovation.

Khon masked dance, “Krai Thong” folk play and live music will take turns to entertain loyal fans on January 7 and 8 in a grand au revoir. Tickets are now on sale (and quickly selling out) at the Thai National Theatre in Bangkok, as well as online at https://ntt.finearts.go.th.

Located on the corner of the Na Phra That and Rachini alleys, the Thai National Theatre shares the Front Palace groundswith the National Museum Bangkok. Pleasing to the eye thanks to the contemporary Thai design, it’s best known for Thai traditional performing art – especially Khon masked dance. According to the Fine Arts Department of Thailand, the government agency in charge of the theatre, the national theatre requires extensive renovations after nearly 60 years of providing high drama to the audience.

The Thai National Theatre requires a great deal of rehabilitative work to strengthen the performance stage, install a stage elevator, and remodel its electrical and electronic systems,” says Phnombootra Chandrajoti, Director General of the Fine Arts Department (FAD). “The centralized operating theatre control system together with sophisticated lighting, audio and multimedia system will also be installed in order to bring the Thai National Theatre up to a high standard of performing art centre.

The Thai National Theatre requires renovation after nearly 60 years of providing high drama to the audience. Photo/FAD

Rama vs. Krai Thong

Bringing pride and applause to the theatre, classical Khon masked dance and the drama Krai Thong will be staged on January 7 and 8.

Khon, designated as UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is a royal court art performance telling the adventure of Rama, the hero of Ramayana and an incarnation of Vishnu, who fights for his wife and brings order and justice to the world. The performance will excite the audience with amazing masks, elaborate costumes, traditional music and dance.

The play Krai Thong, meanwhile, is based on a popular folktale that tells the story of the crocodile hunter, a common man, and a romance between the crocodile master and the daughter of a merchant. Unlike Khon and the Rama’s adventure, “Krai Thong” captivates the audience with high drama centered on men fighting for women, farce, black magic, romance, and more.

The first round of performances will take place on January 7, which is also the birthday of King Pinklao, the ruler of the Front Palace. The second show, on January 8, has been added in response to the increased demand for more shows and tickets.

Aside from Khon and Krai Thong, a live concert and an exhibition featuring the Thai National Theatre will add colourto the final show in January.

TICKETS

Bt200, Bt150 and Bt100 tickets are available at the Thai National Theatre next to the Sanam Luang public square. On-line purchase is also available at https://ntt.finearts.go.th.

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