Top-ranked actor Hwang Jung-min
is in a play for the first time in eight years. He is starring in the "University of Laughs", now playing in Daehangno, Seoul.
Although his current stardom is derived largely from films, including "You are my Sunshine
!" (2005) where he played opposite the best actress at 2007 Cannes film festival Jeon Do-yeon
, Hwang actually started out his acting career in theater. He made his debut in 1994 in the musical "Line 1".
"University of Laughs", based on the popular Japanese novel by Koko Mitani, depicts a seven-day confrontation between an inspector trying to ban comic plays and a scriptwriter who values humor the most in his works, and the friendship that later develops between the two.
Hwang plays the role of the playwright, while veteran actor Song Young-chang took on the role of the inspector.
"Because the play's script was so good, I couldn't help but take the role", said Hwang at last week's press conference in Seoul.
Hwang said that he felt burdened at first to lead the whole play only with Song -- the play is a two-person show -- and because of the many lines he had to memorize.
But the actor said he soon found the interaction with the audience thrilling.
"Unlike when shooting films, I can get instant responses on stage from the audience when doing plays -- for example, different audiences laugh at different moments -- and I think that's the charm of play acting", Hwang said.
"University of Laughs" continues through Nov. 30 at Dongsoong Arts Center. Tickets run from 25,000 won to 45,000 won. For details, call (02) 766-6007 or visit Open the link
By Koh Young-aah