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ARTS & CULTUREPERFORMANCE
The Era of Romance, the Season for Love
Chang Hae Sun  |  esther91@korea.ac.kr
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승인 2013.12.03  13:25:56
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

 For couples that are in vacillation and hesitancy brooding over whether their love is still valid or not, here is a famous piece of drama named The Era of Romance, which has also been popular for its television drama. This year, the story has made its comeback in seven years in the Daehakro theatre scene, being more than enthusiastically welcomed by both the fans and lovers of the drama and novel. In this time, the play will be an attractive choice of activity or experience in which lovers and friends can reevaluate how valuable each and every relationship is.

 

   
▲ A scene in which Haru and Lichiro gets to spend a night in the train heading to Sapporo,rediscovering their ongoing emotions towards each other. Provided by Showplay

The Era of Romance was initially published as a book with the same title by the author named Nojawa Hisashi, winning the fourth Shimasei Romance Literary Award in Japan. The story begins with the divorce of the two main characters, Haru and Lichiro, just after their married life of a year by an unexpected death of their first baby. However, their relationship takes a new turn into another phase of love as they still justly have not gotten over each other. Lichiro would day by day come visit Haru’s workplace with daily and trivial issues that basically stems from their wavering marriage relationship.

On top of that, they would bump into each other completely randomly at their favorite places, such as a donut place or a pub, for which both of them still shared taste and preferences. Likewise, Lichiro and Haru seemed quite inseparable, their friends and acquaintances wishing them to be back together once again. Indeed, especially from the third person perspective as a viewer, it was quite obvious that the two were still in love with each other. However, it was their immature pride and twisted prejudice that made them to be unable to candidly and frankly express their emotions and feelings just as they are.

 

   
▲ A scene almost at the end of the play through which the two main characters make confessions about their inner feelings and decide to reunite as a couple.Provided by Showplay

Drama vs Theatre

Although the story has some points and factors that could be deemed quite incompatible with the Korean sentiment, such as Lichiro and Haru continuing their casual friendships even after divorce or setting their friends up for each other, it still won wide-ranging empathy. Even after seven years of gap between the drama and the play, there are still many people who remember and reminiscence the drama. A major underlying reason for this unceasing affection and attention by numerous fans is that it displays and delivers a line of emotions in relatable ways. Also, the series received favorable comments from both the audiences and critics for its filmic qualities with OST carefully chosen by No Young Shim, a well-known

pianist. With this already established anticipation in mind, it was ambiguous whether the theatre version would still be fascinating enough to capture the interest of audiences for the entire running time. However, it sadly turned out that it somewhat failed to overcome the existing apprehension. This was mainly because it was not absorptive and grabbing enough as two hours were too short to encompass the entire story, which contained too many episodes. Although it is hard to entirely deny that the play had its own charms that helped differentiate it from the previous drama version, it was personally pitiful that the play could have been on air with higher degree of excellence and completion. Beside the storyline, an overall aesthetic of the stage decoration and subsidiary ornament seemed to leave much room for improvements. Still, these are just personal preferences and evaluation of the reporter, and there obviously seemed to be a number of other viewers who enjoyed the play.

 

Pearls of Wisdom, Foods for Thought

The value of this drama mainly resides in the fact that it offers an opportunity to rethink and rekindle the preciousness and pricelessness of the person right next to you. Through the story of the two lovers who slowly began to rediscover and rebuild the relationship between them that was once broken, it is almost impossible to be oblivious to the story of our own. On top of that, the story has additional value in that it successfully portrays and depicts various dimensions of love from differing perspectives of different characters and within diverse contexts of real life situations. By having an opportunity to be immersed in a story of love as an observer with realistic touch that is filled with situations we ourselves get to encounter in everyday lives, a viewer will be able to gain valuable insights into his or her very own romantic relationships. In fact, this frivolous and mundane aspect is one of the biggest charms of this story, allowing audiences to empathize and resonate with the two protagonists so easily and so naturally.

 

A Comment of Recommendation

This play is highly recommendable to anyone who wants to once again be deeply immersed in the variant colors and tastes of love. By simply visiting the theater and looking at diverse shapes and dimensions of love that are being portrayed by different characters and couples in the play, it will be invaluable time to reminisce and recognize the pricelessness of the person next to you. As we are animals of oblivion and forgetfulness, attending a theater that is full of pearls of wisdom and foods for thought will help you remind yourself that it is worthwhile to give a shot for whoever that is in your own mind and heart.

 

Performance Information

Venue: Daehakro Jayoo Theater B2

Date: 2013. 10. 05 ~ 2013.12.29

Time: Monday no performance

Tuesday~Friday 20:00

Saturday 16:00, 19:00, Sunday 15:00, 18:00

Price: 40,000 won (Student discount 30 percent)

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