By Chung Ah-young
Renowned movie star and musical actor Hwang Jung-min
will star in a new play, "University of Laughs" written by Japanese dramatist Koki Mitani.
The play will be shown in Korea for the first time as the ninth work of the Yeongeuk Yeoljeon 2 (Best Plays Series) programmed by veteran actor Cho Jae-hyun
. The play will be staged at Dongsoong Art Center in central Seoul Oct. 24 to Nov. 30.
The piece is a comedy based on the story of an artist's freedom of expression when faced with censorship. The work is a two-man play set over seven days amid World War II in 1940.
A young playwright comes up against a government censor to put a comedy on stage. The censor's job is to prevent anything political or taboo from getting into the pre-war media, but this particular censor has a thing against comedy, too.
Hwang will play the role of a young writer while actor Song Young-chang
will take the role of a cold-blooded government censor.
The play was originally performed at Parco Theatre in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan in 1997 to high acclaim. It was also made into a film which was then released in 2004 by Toho Studios, and directed by Hoshii Mamoru.
"It is the first time for me to take a leading role in a play. I will show how exciting the play is", Hwang said in a press conference on Friday.
"The script is so well-organized that the audience can spontaneously laugh. This work reflects the scriptwriter's philosophy about laughs", said Hwang.
Hwang gained popularity as a movie star but he began his acting career in theaters. The award-winning performer first began his acting career as a musical actor in "Line 1" (1995) and then starred in various musicals such as "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Cats" and recently "Nine". "I think a movie is the art of a director but the play is the art of an actor", he said.
Starring in various musicals and plays in Daehangno, Hwang is now a household name on the big screen with successful performances in "You are my Sunshine
", (2005) "Black House
" (2007) and "Happiness"
Hwang's debut film was "The Waikiki Brothers
" in 2001. Then he appeared in prominent films like "A Good Lawyer's Wife
", "You are my Sunshine
", and "Bloody Tie
", in which he portrayed many diverse characters.
Tickets of the play cost from 25,000 won to 45,000 won. For more information, call (02) 766-6007.