“Pratthana – A Portrait of Possession” had its world premiere in Bangkok in 2018. It tells the story of an artist and his life against the background of modern Thai history. In a dizzying mix of ingredients including national identity, political confrontation, art, sex, pop culture, and repeated military coups, he struggles body and soul with the question of human happiness and his loneliness. While torn apart in the process, he nevertheless has a yearning and craving for life.
This is definitely not a story of Thailand alone; it also belongs to us – we and you who are alive today.
The play is a theatrical adaptation of a novel by Uthis Haemamool, one of the foremost authors on Thailand’s contemporary literary scene. It was written and directed by Toshiki Okada, and the scenography was reconstructed by Yuya Tsukahara, a member of the performance group contact Gonzo. It was given the Best Play Award in the IATC Thailand Dance and Theatre Awards 2018, which is Thailand’s only program of awards for performing arts, and received the highest accolades in Bangkok’s theatrical circles. Its performance at the Pompidou Center in Paris (as an official program in the Festival d’Automne à Paris / Japonismes 2018) also evoked a great reaction. This elaborate 4-hour production replete with innovative features is finally going to have its first-ever performance in Japan!