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Tae-Suk Oh's Adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (2006) in London

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2016, 29(1), pp.241-275
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Beau La Rhee 1

1제주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper deals with Tae-Suk Oh’s production of Romeo and Juliet (2006) staged at the Barbican Center in London. For the London performance, director Oh made many changes to his 2005 production staged in Seoul, Korea at the Haneul Theatre, The National Theatre of Korea. The paper analyzes his take on Romeo and Juliet and how he adapts it to and through his own culture, transporting his production back to its home source of London. Oh realized that the traditions of Korean theatre provided him with context. He finds and reclaims a Korean identity, combining both the past and the present through his adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. The western critics showed their interests in the play by writing reviews in favor of the visual, aural, and acting aspects of the play. Clarity seems to be the main objective in Oh’s expansion of lines from the Seoul performance to that in London. Oh takes another page from Shakespeare’s playbook in making Juliet straightforward and active in expressing her love. He also stresses the contrast between the older generation and the younger through theatricality. Furthermore, he uses stage elements effectively for important purposes; he does not simply translate Shakespeare’s language, along with costumes, set design, and so on, much as Shakespeare does not merely translate or transcribe Brooke’s poem. Both playwrights comment upon and critique the original.

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