On 18th October 2014, my university organized a field trip for international students. Only 40 students allowed to join this trip. I was lucky enough to get vacant spot after some students gave up their seat on the field trip. And it was free! Haha //ada gula ada semut, ada gratisan ada saya// xD One of the field trip agenda is watching NANTA.
We went to NANTA Theater in Myeongdong. It’s located in Unesco Building 3F, 50-14, Myeong Dong 2 Ga, Jung Gu, Seoul. We arrived there around 10.30 AM. There was 30 minutes left before the show started, students used this time for taking photo around the theater or buying merchandise.
NANTA, also known as Cookin’ NANTA, is a non-verbal performance that integrates Korea’s traditional rythm, Salmunori, with comedy and drama in the kitchen. Because it’s a non-verbal performance, audiences of all ages and nationality can enjoy this performance without worrying about language barrier. Since its first performance in 1997, NANTA has been on the road of success not only in Korea, but also around the world.
The story of NANTA is about three cooks who’s told to prepare wedding banquet by 6 o’clock in the afternoon by their bad tempered manager. The cooks are caught completely off-guard with their sudden task because they only have 1 hour to complete it. Not only that, the manager also brings his young nephew with him and demands the cooks teach him how to cook and prepare food.
We sat on seat S. For this seat, it normally costs 50.000 KRW. The most expensive one costs 70.000 KRW. And the cheapest one is 40.000 KRW. Quite expensive, huh? But if you’re coming to Seoul and want to watch this show, you can get discount up to 40%. Check their website to see what kind of discounts are available. On October and November, you can get 40% discount for Saturday show on 11 AM or any other schedule by liking its facebook page.
Light was turned off. The theater was completely dark. At that time, 4 cooks entered the stage indicating that the show already started. They put the candle they brought and then used kitchen utensils as their musical instruments.
After that, the scene changed to 3 cooks preparing vegetables and organizing kitchen. Suddenly, the manager appeared and told them their task. He also brought his nephew and assigned him as cook. He even took one of the cook’s hat and gave it to his nephew. Creating a tense atmosphere between the cook and the nephew. The next 1 hour showed how the cooks preparing the wedding banquet. While cutting the vegetables, they showed us that knife and cutting board can be used as great musical instrument. Basin, pan, bowl, whisk, and other cooking utensils were utilized well to produce salmunori. Not only music, this performance also showed acrobatic moves, dance, and comedy. To make the show more interesting, the show invited guests to participate. They invited 1 male and 1 female audience to the stage, dressed them in Korean traditional wedding dress, and asked them to have a taste on their cooking. They also invited 4 audiences to help when they had mandu (dumpling) battle. At the end, the cooks successfully prepare the wedding banquet. Photo of the guests who were dressed as korean groom and bride also shown at the background. Making audiences laughed.
It is a solid performance. All characters are utilized well, for me there is no supporting role here, all of them are the main casts. BTW, the actor who acted as main chef that day is kinda cute. He slightly looks like On Joo Wan who played as Lee Hyun Myung on Surplus Princess. No problem if you don’t know him. LOL. And the only actress there intimidated me with her toned abs. //tahan perut// xD The musical performance was also great, even though some segments can be better if the duration is shortened. Over all, it is great. No wonder that NANTA is dubbed as non-verbal performance with the largest audiences in Korean history.