Friday, November 16, 2007

Siam Niramit

I went and saw Siam Niramit, journey to the enchanted kingdom of Siam, that is located on it's own performance ground in the center of Bangkok. Siam Niramit's theatre has a 2000-seat capacity and it is suppose to be one of the world's largest stage productions. On the grounds are three restaurants, and an authentic traditional Thai village that visitors can stroll through and savour the atmosphere of Thai life including a Thai massage area. The performance is 80 minutes long with no intermission and is acted out in three parts: -
Act 1 - Journey Back into History
It acts out the diverse cultures of Thailand from central, southern and northern regions of Thailand. It takes the audience back over seven centuries, with Siam as home of diverse cultures, and a cross-road where civilizations met.
Scene 1: The North….The Ancient Kingdom of Lanna
Scene 2: The South Sea.....Traders from Overseas
Scene 3: Issan.....Heritage of the Khmer Civilization
Scene 4: The Central Plains - Ayutthaya, the Mighty Capital
(photos are from the show's official site)
Act 2 - Journey Beyond Imagination: The Three Worlds: Hell, Himapaan Forest and Heaven
Despite the diverse cultures and livelihood, Thai people are all bound by common belief in the religious principle of the Law of Karma. The good deeds or bad deeds in this world will result in merit or suffering in the next life.
Scene 1: Fiery Hell
Scene 2: Mystical Himapaan Forest
Scene 3: Blissful Heaven
Act 3 - Journey Through Joyous Festivals
Buddhists believe that to go to heaven, one must gather merit on earth. Thus, Thai culture is full of a wide variety of merit-making festivals, which combine religious ceremony with joyful celebrations. For example, Ordination, Song Kran, Phi Dtaa Khon, and Loi Krathong.
I enjoyed the performance very much as the costumes and staging were pretty advanced. What I liked most was the fact that live animals were also added into the show to give it realisim and that during acts 1 and 3 the performers were in the audience area. They even had a pool across the stage to depict the Chao Phraya river.
I thought it was good entertainment and in some ways reminded me of O and Mystère by Cirque du Soleil in Vegas. However, the food at the buffer restaurant is mass production and not very good. Eat else where first before heading to the theatre.

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