The “theater duo” Woo Mi-hwa, 45, and Jeon Bak-chan, 37, star in “The Boy in the Last Row.” During an interview at the Seoul Arts Center, they said, “We wait for this short yet powerful scene.”
The play follows a boy named Claude (played by Jeon Bak-chan and Ahn Chang-hyeon) who writes stories that border between fiction and reality, a teacher called Germain (played by Park Yun-hui) who becomes fascinated by his stories and ends up pushing them into a more dangerous territory and his wife Jeanne (Woo Mi-hwa). It does not have a single dramatic scene but makes for a great thriller, capturing the imagination of the audience. The play, written by a famous playwright Juan Mayorga and directed by Son Won-jeong, comes back to stage after two years. Woo said, “It asks us where the line is drawn between fiction and reality,” to which Jeon said, “I felt horror when I reached the end of the question.”
They met for the first time in 2008 during a four-day workshop for the play. “He was so young back then, but he has become a great actor I can rely on. He is more relaxed now”, said Woo with a smile. Jeon agreed by saying, “I was incredibly nervous at first playing with a famous stage actress. But now she is a good friend who knows when I want to go for a drink even though I do not say it.”
They performed together in the play “Grave of Words,” “Are You Okay,” “Warriors of Sunshine” and “Nassim” and share the same philosophy that plays need to convey social messages, which explains their long history of working together. “Stage performers cannot be free from the pain and the sorrow of the modern history,” said Woo. When asked about the TV drama “Designated Survivor: 60 Days” where he demonstrated his great acting skills, Jeon said, “It was a great opportunity for me to act in a TV series that reflects modern society.”
After discussing how new it feels every time they perform in the play, they left for a walk. The play has received positive reviews thanks to these two performers who are willing to go as far as to “the last row of acting.”
The play will continue until December 1 at Jayu Theater of the Seoul Arts Center.