“I was born in rush hours” (A Play in Progress, Fullfat, Bangkok, 2022) A Performance Review in English
I attended Fullfat’s first shows in 2017–2018 when Warehouse 30 was not yet opened, and another one staged in a small room in Siampic Theatre. Nopphan has a unique approach and presentation, so edgy that many theatre students and Bohemians join forces with Fullfat back then and up until now. I wasn’t impressed with every of his piece; the site-specific at Siampic’s backstage last year was a mess and made me feel nauseous watching it. Today, I walked into Noble Ploenchit, a luxurious condo, if not the most elegant, in the heart of Bangkok. “I think space is key to Fullfat’s success.” I discussed it with my friend. If it is true, where better place to stage a performance about Bangkok’s lives than Noble condo. I sat at Toby’s, a coffee place beside the space where “Fullfat’s A Play in Progress” has taken place. Looking from the corner of the eyes, the last round’s audiences seemed enthralled. It was a good sign for me.
“Week 3: Focusing on young performing arts, theatre, communications grads” (in Thailand, these three “useless” majors often lead to a similar path). I gravitate towards the premise of this piece. The show names: “I was born in rush hours of endeavoring to balance work; finance; love; family; and health — why growing up has to be this hard?” It’s interesting because it directed attention specifically to the social group I was, and arguably still, a member of. At the performance space, we saw a long cloth spread table where they are pens. Entered actors and music came through; actors bound their eyes and started to write blindly.
How do you see yourself in five years?: “I will be 27th. I would have a house, a car, and a boyfriend. Maybe an assistant to the director at an art gallery somewhere in Australia? I’m sure I will not return to work here(Thailand).
If money is not essential, would you quit your job?: “I despise capitalism. It limits us from doing things we don’t like. Luckily, I can do what I like without worrying about money. But if I didn’t have money one day, a dreamer like me would still keep doing it. It’s funny, isn’t it?”
“I want to be loved,
And perceived as a happy person,
Sometimes it’s pretentious.”
I love reading these raw, heartfelt manuscripts. It was a moment of a moment for Fullfat, the most emotional moment it ever made me feel. It was interactive, profound, joyful, surprising, and something to be viscerally inhabited. It cut sharp through my severe sensitivity; I saw other audiences touch their left chest where their heart is, too.
The play in progress was not without faults. It is like a candle in stormy weather; the joy last not long. Half an hour passed, and it still indulged in the exact moment, with no progress. It is good not to confuse the subject matter and content. Bangkok’s theatre grad was the subject matter. Whereas a question about “work; finance; love; family; and health — why growing up has to be this hard?” Was its content. The show needs a discussion in depth around its content to move forward. There is an instance that actors could try different angles, such as if they abandon the dream and go after the money. How would it come out? Worse still, nothing news after forty minutes; audiences retreated, sinking into their chairs, looking at the rain outside, which got more nuances and stories.
Bad or sound, it was not a piece of crap. Nor did it intrude, teach, or make propaganda — — It was a thinking piece that made somewhat existential topics watchable. A transmutation of space’s aesthetics and raw feelings to a visceral and heartfelt work was also dull and repetitive, resembling our modern city lives. But it is a piece with good potential to polish into a dynamics piece.