Performance Group Tuida brings Tale of Haruk, a myth universally known but uniquely interpreted

Insouciant, tech-perfect multi-genre productions from Korea are not new to Metroplus Theatre Fest. This time Performance Group Tuida brings The Tale of Haruk, a myth universally known but uniquely interpreted. Gifted to a lonely old couple by the Tree God, the highly indulged son Haruk becomes insatiably hungry the moment his parents allow him to eat forbidden food (cooked rice). His hunger is appeased only after consuming the entire world. The old parents, now in his stomach, sing a song to comfort him in his loneliness.

To transform this parable into performance, playwright Bae Yosup has evolved a form to “explore the world of objective reality and the world of feeling and emotion”. Using everything from puppets and masks to music and dance, Yosup’s lyrical play focuses on things left behind by Korea’s ancestors, to perceive what it means to be human in today’s world. Appealing to children and adults, this lyrical work features traditional Korean puppets made of paper, native masks, and percussion instruments made of recycled-material.

As founder-member of Tuida — launched in 2001 with eight graduates of the Korean National University of Arts — Yosup prides himself in evolving plays through continuous experimentation. His vision follows Nature’s process — where everything goes back to the same regenerating central force, recycling waste and preserving the environment. Since everything is part of Nature, he believes that playmaking should also be a Nature-friendly activity.

Yosup’s Korean-cosmopolitan glocal style has been acclaimed by audiences across the world. Says Yosup, “I believe a good life makes a good play. I also believe a good play can bring a good life.”

Watch a sample from the play.

Venue: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Concert Hall, Harrington Road, Chetpet

Date: August 15, 7.30 p.m.

Director's Cut

Bae Yosup

A founder of Tuida Performance Group, Korea, and its permanent director, Bae Yosup has scripted and directed internationally acclaimed performances such as You Can’t Say I Did It (2010) and Old Song’s Odyssey (2011). His goal? To create an open, Nature-friendly, ever-evolving theatre. Excerpts:

Where did you find this story?

The idea for Haruk came from the universal game, the so-called story of creation. Lively discussions with the members of the cast fuelled the performance.

Masks and puppets entertain. But how do they enrich metaphoric meanings for you?

Masks and puppets bring fantasy to life. Fantasy or myth delivers profound messages about life through metaphors in the story. The power of the metaphor is activated in reinterpretations. Depending on the perspective and situation, audiences can accept these meanings in varying ways. For example, in this play, once Haruk eats cooked rice, a metaphor for a primal taboo, the promise that his parents made to the Tree God is broken, and the boy begins to suffer from insatiable hunger. The only “cure” is for him to eat his parents. This drastic sacrifice by Haruk’s parents, works on multiple levels. Puppets and masks made of Korean traditional paper provide unique visual entertainment while also functioning as powerful signifiers to explore the meaning of desire, the trap of consumerism, the dangers of excessive parental love and also simply, how we communicate.

Tale of Haruk also uses clowns from eastern and western traditions. Why?

We have developed our own style by studying and crafting methods to meet the audience face-to-face. Juxtaposing western and eastern clowns we create a new experience for the audience. The clown describes and opens unknown worlds to the audience. So he can be a messenger as well as a divulger of secrets.

Do audiences in different countries react differently?

A play is reborn every time it meets the audience. The performance grows and shapes itself depending on the kind of audience we encounter, each with its own geo-cultural background. Moreover, children and adults accept the story in varying ways. The most beautiful moments arise in their reactions. This is a constant learning process. Also, it is wonderful to find empathy from older generation viewers.

What kind of actors do you need to realise your directorial vision?

Actors who study themselves to seek the essence of theatre! This earnest attitude encourages us to create plays. I hope my actors will always find the essence of what is human, and present those elemental aspects of life and Nature which remain eternally unchangeable.

The Schedule:

Aug 10: How to Skin a Giraffe (Perch, Chennai)

Aug 11: A Walk in the Woods (Motley, Mumbai)

Aug 15: The Tale of Haruk (Performance Group Tuida, Korea)

Aug 16: Circus (MacTrics, Chennai)

Aug 17: Some Times (Akvarious Productions, Mumbai)

Aug 18: Romeo and Juliet - No Strings Attached (Tahatto, Bangalore)

Venue: Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Harrington Road, Chetpet

Time: 7.30 p.m.

For the detailed schedule of MPTF 2013 in all five cities, click here.


Price: Rs.600, Rs.350 and Rs.200. Season tickets at Rs. 3000 & Rs. 1750

Tickets will also be available at The Hindu Office - Mount Road, Color Plus - Apex Plaza, Landmark - Apex Plaza & Landmark - Spencer Plaza.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased online at,,, &

Helpline: +91 98406 12333, +91 98402 36367

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