By Pawit Mahasarinand
Special to The Nation
DO YOU like talking to your taxi driver? I do: I enjoy talking to, and learning from, strangers and because he meets many people from many walks of life everyday, he always has a lot to share.
Have you ever asked your taxi driver to change the radio station? I’ve thought about it but then realised who’s behind the wheel. And so whatever makes him happy, I’m okay with that.
Have you ever engaged into a heated argument with your taxi driver? When my house was flooded for six weeks and I had to rent an apartment in the city, I took taxi almost every day. And one afternoon, he said right after I got in, “That university is full of homosexuals: what’s wrong with them?”
“And you think they're worse than corrupt politicians?" was my response, having forgotten who was actually behind the wheel.
Night-time stories from the streets of Bangkok are deftly told through monologues and songs. Photo/Ben Kosolsak
Veteran playwright and director Nophand Boonyai, whose previous work “[Co/Exist]” won IATC Thailand awards for best play and original script last year, is a keen observer, and commentator, of life, especially that in contemporary Bangkok.
His new work “Taxi Radio”, now onstage, has a fitting subtitle “Bangkok City of Stories”. He narrates four stories, back and forth, from four walks of Bangkok life. Some cross paths; others, we wish they did, but actually don't. Of course, some are more engaging, and less predictable, than others.
Photo/ Sirima Chaipreechawit
In a lively set-up that looks more like that of a concert, four actors – some also have roles in another’s story, vocally or physically– almost always use microphones. Two musicians, on drums and keys, accompany them with both sound effects and music. Duck Unit's lighting design is also in fine accordance.
Last year, room temperature, acoustics and mosquitoes barred me from enjoying performances at Warehouse 30. The first two have well been taken care of and the whole complex has become another hip spot to hang out in this new creative district. Our favourite insects are not my problem, but they did bother some of the audience last Tuesday. My fellow critic was also seen lifting her leg up when she spotted a cockroach.
My lifelong theatregoing companion also noted that all performers, actors and musicians, do not, unlike many performances she’s been to, look familiar. And that's indeed a good sign for Full Fat Theatre.
FIVE MORE NIGHTS
“Taxi Radio: Bangkok City of Stories” continues every night until Friday, 8pm, at Warehouse 30 in Soi Charoenkrung 30, close to Si Phraya pier, and within walking distance from BTS Saphan Taksin station.
It’s in Thai, with no English translation.
Tickets are Bt600 at (065) 420 8596.
Find out more by joining the conversation at Facebook.com/FullFatTheatre.