CultureReview
Love on the Edge of Life
Kim Hee-won Assisstant Reporter  |  yazawa@yonsei.ac.kr
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승인 2004.11.05  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리

   
"HONEY, HONEY! There is something I want to show you! Come here." "What is it my dear? A ring! Ohh... I am so grateful. Thank you, my dear..." After exchanging their rings, and having a wedding on their own, the old couple are finally represented as husband and wife. Why are their eyes filled with tears and hands trembling though? They manage to smile for their happiness, however their eyes say that something is going wrong. Finally the old woman speaks out. "Thank you, dear,  for this wonderful moment. Even though I am leaving this world for long, I will never forget our love." As soon as she finishes her words, she grabs her chest and almost falls. Her husband is there taking her side. She looks up. "Scared you, ha!" Yes, the woman is dying. On the couple's wedding day, which is supposed to be the happiest day of their lives, they think of the death that is spreading in the woman's stomach. Although they both know this fact, they laugh and make jokes as if nothing sad is going to happen to them, just like usual.

   
Back again with the old fame

   The play A story of an old couple is held again at the Chukjae Theater, dahak-ro from Oct. 2 to Dec. 12. under the name of Su-jak -excellent works. This event recalls previous plays that were proved to be well done and had gained much popularity. Two plays are performed again before the audience who remember or have wanted to see the plays that they missed in the past. A story of an old couple is one of these plays, which was first performed in 2003. For its sympathetic story and the actors' performances the play gained a good reputation and was involved in many events of performing arts. Especially it received compliments concerning the actors' performances and won the best actor's award. This performance had not changed much from the previous one. The audience can enjoy the original play in the same condition, thus, in the same way.


   
Elderly love

   The play A story of an old couple is about a love story between two old people. Park Dong-man is an old man who is always ignored by his son. He looks for an advertisement and finds a house that satisfies his needs, where Lee Jum-soon is living alone. At first, they do not get along because of their different personalities. Ms. Lee does not like the greasy smile Mr. Park throws everytime she heaps abuses on his nonsensical behavior. Gradually beginning to see each other's loneliness as time goes by, they become closer and end up being a couple. However, constantly intervening among their happy days are the worries and disappointments about their children. As Mr. Park recognizes that he is perfectly out of his son's life, he decides to help out Ms. Lee's younger daughter who is in huge financial difficulty. One day, they find that Ms. Lee has cancer. As they hear the news, they hold a wedding and Ms. Lee starts to knit a white sweater- needless to say- for her husband. At the end of fall when there is no strength left in Ms. Lee, Mr. Park carries his wife on his back and whispers his everlasting love. As winter comes Mr. Park is all alone again. Living in grief, he receives a letter with a parcel from Ms. Lee's daughter. The letter says that the daughter had finished her mother's work and calls him Dad. Wearing the sweater knitted by his wife and daughter, finally Park feels like he has a family.

Visually artistic

   Seeing the play, the audience feel as if they are watching a piece of art rather than a simple play. The visual aspect of the work makes this possible. As soon as the audience enter the theater, they feel as if they are inside Ms. Lee's house. On stage there is a traditional Korean wooden floor that makes an antic atmosphere and beyond the floor lies a small yard. Thus, the composition of the stage makes the audience feel like they are sitting on the wooden floor with the actors. This plays a part in making the audience more emotionally attached to the actors and more involved in the play. The flow of time is also expressed beautifully by the lights and sounds, which expresses the four seasons. Lights and sounds are also used in expressing the actors' feelings. For example, while they talk to each other about their lives and families, the light  from the street lamp shines upon them, which creates a comforting and sympathizing atmosphere just like the actors' feelings. With such visual effects, the play is like a sonnet and the main theme of the play appears to be not too contrived, but simply, pure.

   
Might blank the viewers  

   The play shows love and trust between two old people by using artistic tools, which make the audience more emotional and sympathetic. However, it might exaggerate the real world of the elders. Love may exist also in the real world, but might not be as beautiful as it is seen in the show. This is quite a problem because what the play is based on is a social issue. Regardless of the director's intention of showing how pure love could be even between two old people, it can be perceived by the viewers that the elderly problem is not that serious. Of course there are some episodes that show how lonely and isolated the elders are in our society, but in this play they almost act as a mechanism to emphasize the main subject, love. Although the main story is about love, the play would have been better with more content regarding the elderly problem; in this case, more details about the relationship between Mr. Park and his son.

 The purer, the more touching

   In this society there is an odd atmosphere when it comes to the subject of love between the elders. Some might think that the elders are too old to love and during the play, awkward laughter could even be heard every time the actors delivers a line about love. However, seeing the play they could recognize that the love of the elders could be sweeter and purer than that of the early days. This story could be the story of their parents, or of their future. The play lets the audience to perceive the love around them clearly. Without an eye full of prejudice, they would know that even the elders could cry and laugh from love.

A story of an old couple 
Chukjae Theater
 2004/ 10/ 2 ~ 2004/ 12/ 12
02 - 741 - 3935

Interview
   
Wi Seong-sin
Director of A story of an old couple

Q: The play expresses the love of two people so beautifully. What, do you think, made this most possible?
A: This play is about an old couple who are deeply in love. I chose to express their love according to the flow of time. In spring, the couple meet and the love begins. In summer with the fresh atmosphere their love grows deeper and more episodes of their daily lives can be seen. Fall is when their love ripens, when they hear the news of the old woman's illness and in winter the old man is all alone again, but with a little hope of a new family. I think the love story matched perfectly with the four seasons and that made the play more colorful and beautiful.

Q: Love between two old people can be something to be laughed at in this society. What is your opinion about that?
A:
All I want to say is that we must see the old no different from us. In our society it is considered that the old are phlegmatic

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