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Korea-France joint production The

Empire of Light hits Seoul stage


Author Kim Young-has celebrated novel The Empire of Light has been adapted
into a joint Korea-France drama production as part of the Korea-France Year
2015-2016 celebrating the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between
the two countries.
An English-language translation of the novel Your Republic is Calling You was
released in 2010.
The Korean-language play was produced by the National Theater Company of
Korea and directed by French actor and director Arthur Nauzyciel. Following its
staging in Seoul, the play will makes its debut in Orleans, France in May.

Promo
tional
image
for
The

Empire
of
Light,
a joint
KoreaFrance
play
based
on
Korean
novelis
t Kim
Younghas
Your
Republ
ic is
Calling
You
(Natio
nal
Theate
r
Compa
ny of
Korea)

Ive always been curious about Korea, and although I didnt know what the
project would be, I said Yes, said Nauzyciel during a press conference held in
Seoul last week.
I read it (the novel) just before coming here for the first time and I liked it, he
continued. What I liked the most was actually was how this division and
separation (between the two Koreas) can affect peoples lives. I hope that this
show will leap over these cultural differences, because we tried to take it in a
very universal way.
The Empire of Light, adapted by Nauzyciel and French artist Valeri Mrejen,
tells the suspenseful tale of a seemingly ordinary man and his family living in
Seoul. However, a mysterious email snaps foreign film importer Kim Ki-yong
back to his almost-forgotten reality -- he is a North Korean spy who has been
living in the South for the past two decades. The sudden order from Pyongyang
gives Kim just 24 hours to erase all evidence of his existence in Seoul.
Of course because I am a foreigner, I wouldnt dare (approach the play) as a
lecture about a history of Korea and I dont want to judge any of the parts
involved. We are artists and poets, so we tried to find an angle that will show
something human and true about these kinds of emotions, said the director.
I have to say, coming from France, there is something very moving in
discovering the history of the Korean people. Its a very heartbreaking story,
since so many centuries, and Im happy to have discovered it through this

experience that we are doing together, Nauzyciel added.


This production, which made its world premiere Friday, stars theater and film
actor Ji Hyun-jun as the North Korean spy Kim, as well as local film and TV
actress Moon So-ri as Kims wife.
The Empire of Light marks Moons first stage production in six years.

Promo
tional
image
for
The
Empire
of
Light,
a joint
KoreaFrance
play
based
on
Korean
novelis
t Kim
Younghas
Your
Republ
ic is
Calling
You
(Natio
nal
Theate
r
Compa
ny of
Korea)

I think one of the most important points of The Empire of Light is this process
of transformation that you see, said Moon during the press conference. Within
this process lies a deep connection between Korean history and society.
When I first met the director, we met for lunch, and then lunch turned into
dinner and then we just kept talking until 9 p.m., she added. Speaking with
one another is just very exciting and inspirational, we really connected well.
The play also features actors Jung Seng-gil, Yang Dong-tak, Kim Han, Yang
Young-mi, Kim Chung-hoon and Lee Hong-jae.
The Empire of Light will be staged daily, except on Tuesdays, at the Myeongdong Theater in Seoul until March 27. English subtitles will be provided on
March 10, 13 and 27, while French subtitles will be offered on March 17, 20 and
24.
Ticket prices range from 20,000 won ($16.70) to 50,000 won. For more
information, visit www.ntck.or.kr.