A press call for the theatrical play, Touching The Void, has been announced to be held on July 20th. Director Kim Dong-yeon with the cast including Kim Seonho will participate in the event.
According to Korean news outlets, media reporters will be shown a demo of the play’s highlights. A team interview will also happen where the director and cast get to share the legendary moment of mountaineering on stage and talk more about the project and their preparations.
Touching The Void (1988) is based on a true mountaineering story written by Joe Simpson who gained recognition for his remarkable self-survival amid near-death situation in 1985. He climbed with Simon Yates in the 20,853-foot Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985 where the duo experienced distress upon descent the snowy mountain.
The bestselling book was turned into a documentary film by Kevin MacDonald in 2003 and adapted for stage play by David Greig in 2018. The book and film received various awards while the theater production got five-star reviews. The experience was spellbinding for The Telegraph, enthralling for Variety, stunningly inventive for The Times, thrilling and chilling for The Guardian.
On May 13th, it was announced that it will be officially adapted for theater in South Korea. The play drew much attention when Hallyu star Kim Seonho was cast to play the role of Joe Simpson. It became his first acting appearance since Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha (2021). Highly anticipated, he topped the real-time search rankings on Play DB. All seats on his performance dates were immediately sold out. He received the loudest cheers on his first performance and a standing ovation that lasted 10 minutes.
His first media appearance after nine months of rest from the public eye is also much anticipated at the press call. Since it is an event with the media for the said play, it is expected that he will talk more about his passion for theater and his experience in portraying the tormenting yet life-changing story of Joe the mountaineer-survivor.
Meanwhile, great reviews also poured out about the theatrical play, its cast, and director during its first week of performances. Positive reactions from the audience filled the Interpark page: “Impressive acting!” “A recommended show!” “A touching performance!” “The stage is impressive!” “The best acting, direction, music!” “Passionate performances!” “A wonderful moment to reflect about life.” “The best play I have seen.” “It was the best theater experience of my life.”
Despite the limited space, the production crew and cast were able to awaken the crowd’s imagination especially the unfolding scenes of the enjoyable ascent and perilous descent the snowy mountain. The top highlight goes to actors assigned as Joe Simpson who portrayed solid painful emotions in fighting a lonely battle from being trapped in the cruel nature as well as enduring starvation, bitter wind, frostbitten hands, and limping around the stage with a broken leg. Reviews from the audience shared that they felt the pain that the actors displayed.
Joe Simpson expressed, “The minute I knew help was at hand something had collapsed inside me. Whatever had been holding me together had gone. Now I could not think for myself, let alone crawl! There was nothing to fight for, no patterns to follow, no voice, and it frightened me to think that, without these, I might run out of life.” The Korean stage actors have amazingly displayed Joe’s fighting spirit of overcoming fears, survival, and fortitude through the power of theater. Kim Seonho, Shin Sung-min, and Lee Hwi-jong have taken these roles on stage alternately.
“Why do you go to the mountains? Because the mountains are there. Why do you have to live? Because life is there.” The legendary adaptation of Touching The Void for theater does not only display the creative use of stagecraft but also imparts a meaningful message of overcoming the mountains of life. It is expected for the press call to highlight this wonderful and significant theme as well as the great reviews from the audience.
Touching The Void is held at Art One Theater Hall 2, Daehak-ro in South Korea from July 8 to September 18, 2022. Stage actors Kim Seonho, Shin Sung-min, Lee Hwi-jong, Oh Jung-taek, Jung Hwan, Lee Jin-hee, Son Ji-yoon, are under the brilliant direction of Kim Dong-yeon, known as the “Blue Chip Director Of Daehak-ro”.
Photos: The Best Play