I first watched the performance 8 years ago when I first stepped foot into Korea. It was so hilarious that it has become one of the must do whenever friends asked me for recommendations for their Korea trips. Friends who took up the recommendation have all given their thumbs up for the performance. Needless to say, I wanted to spend some "Mummy Daughter Time" (as so put by my two darlings) during this trip so I put forth the proposal to the girls. We, the ladies, would go for the show while Daddy would have his own 'Me' time. The kids loved the idea, and so did Daddy.
|The directional map and show timings for the 3 theatres in Seoul|
There are 3 categories of tickets - Premium, S class and A class. Premium tickets would cost you 70,000won, S class (1st and 2nd floor) 50,000won and A class (2nd floor), 40,000won. We made reservation for Friday 5pm S class tickets (1st floor) on Wednesday, through Ibis Myeongdong Hotel where we were staying, and got 5% off the ticket price. The children got a 20% discount off their tickets too. One thing to note, it is important to book your tickets early if you have a preferred day and time of performance. Depending on locations of theatres (Myeongdong, Chungjeongno and Hongdae), there can be 2 to 3 shows a day. We went to Myeongdong Nanta Theatre (3 shows - 2pm, 5pm, 8pm) which is only 5 minutes walk away from Ibis Myeongdong Hotel. We had wanted a Wednesday show but we could only get a Friday 5pm show. The rest were all fully booked!
We got to the theatre 20 minutes before 5pm to collect our tickets. There was a simple refreshment counter with simple pastries and drinks and another counter selling Cookin' Nanta T-shirts and accessories. We brought some drinks and entered the auditorium early so that the kids could adjust to the environment. The ushers were very diligent and brought extra cushions for the kids to elevate their seats. There were a number of children in the auditorium and it was a pleasure having them. They were so excited even before the show started and it was contagious. My kids reacted likewise as well.
|Our apologies for capturing the faces in the photos. |
It was so crowded that it was impossible to get a shot without anyone in them.
|The cast that was in charge of entertaining us|
|Before the start of the show|
To mark the start of the performance, a projector screen came on and greeted the audience in various languages. Besides telling them the basic theatre protocol such as the switching off of mobile phones and the routes for evacuation in case of emergency, they also got the comedy plot going…the cooking team had to prepare for a wedding dinner, with a new member – the manager’s nephew. The screen then got the audience to engage in cheering and clapping till the lights in the auditorium turned off. The performance started, for real.
|We are ready!|
What made Cookin’ Nanta captivating is that they were able to be in sync with one another, using whatever kitchen utensils they could get their hands on to cook up a musical storm. The heart-pumping rhythm got the audience grooving along in their seats too. In addition, they were able to keep the plot going, showing the kitchen’s initial unwillinging acceptance of the nephew, to the pressure of having to cook up the different dishes and to the eventual acceptance of the new kitchen crew. They did not forget to include the audience as well, getting members of the audience to try their cooking and even compete in dumpling making competition. In case you are wondering, they were really cooking on stage. Vegetables were flying and the fire was on. The smell of food filled the auditorium. How should I put it? It is a performance that catered to the five senses.
The comedy aspect is simply awesome. They were just simple scenarios like a kitchen crew falling into the dustbin and having great difficulty getting out (even got a member of the audience to help him out) to the attempted killing of a huge (soft toy) duck but because of their simplicity, it was easy for the audience to relate to them. Even the children had a great time laughing. Children have this amazing talent to spread joy whenever they laugh. Hence, when the children in the audience laughed out loud to their hearts’content, without a care for the person sitting near them, it caused the audience to laugh even more. And because the show focuses a lot on sounds and actions, language barriers were removed. Everyone could enjoy themselves to the max.
The show ended after 90 minutes and even though it was cold outside, we left with light and cheerful hearts. The two girls are still telling everyone what they saw at the show till today. Conclusion: They want to watch it again. This time, they want Daddy to come along too.
|Our very own Cookin' Nanta Chef|