“The mystery of murdering of a maid who suffered all night from a severe killing….Killed in the room next door, she was injured in the face and other parts of the body.” (Dong-A Ilbo on March 4, 1931)
A murdering case that shocked Koreans during Japanese colonial rule will be brought back on stage featuring special sound effects and shadows. The play “Byeon Hong-rye” depicts the ambitions of a Korean who aspired to be a Japanese in order to live a humane life. The play describes the sorrowful lives of Koreans enduring Japanese colonial rule. It was chosen as the Top 3 Drama of the Year early last year and re-opens in Korea after its performance in Madrid, Spain in June.
Byeon Hong-rye is a Korean housemaid that works for a Japanese family in Busan. She discards her ethnic identity as a Korean and lives as a Japanese person. Unlike her hopes to be treated with respect one day, Japanese take advantage of her and she gets involved in a love affair and is eventually murdered. Though there is clear evidence and trace of murder, the Japanese suspect was found non-guilty and the truth was never revealed.
Despite the heavy subject, the drama is played out in a playful manner. The movements of the actors are added with humorous sounds, like post-sync recording of a soundless movie. The running time of 80 minutes is filled with shadows, lighting and direction that is truly original. Though the story is played out in a light and playful manner, it does not undermine the original message of the play, as superfluity is removed. The play will be performed at Arco Arts Theater in Daehangno, Seoul until July 21.