Welcome to the darkest side of theatre!
In Shaun Prendergast’s play “The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World" the audience will be able to feel, hear, smell and touch – but not see!
An unprecedented theatre-going experience
“The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World” makes its Bangkok premiere this November, promising an unprecedented theatre-going experience. Last month Peel the Limelight announced residency and collaboration with Spark Drama for the the 2015/2016 season, bringing a total of four new productions. The first production of the season will be Shaun Prendergast’s gripping and ground breaking piece of contemporary theatre in which the audience will be able to feel, hear, smell and touch but not see.
The play is part of the Bangkok Theatre Festival and will be performed in English from November 13th to November 28th at the Spark Drama Space. Tickets are now on sale! Discounts for early bookings and students are available as well as special packages for schools interested in bringing a group of students.
The play tells the story of a poor Mexican woman born with a disfiguring genetic condition and sold as a child to be exhibited in freak shows around the world. Peel the Limelight’s production will be a sensory performance based on perception, discrimination and exploitation. The audience will be (and must remain) blindfolded to experience the show.
WRITTEN by Shaun Prendergast
DIRECTED by Peter O'Neill
STARRING: Claire Stanley, James Laver, Mandi Manson, Neil Anthony Rusia, Siree Riewpaiboon & Tom Poldre
PRODUCTION & CREATIVE TEAM: Jaime Zúñiga, Kochawan (Bamee) Chayawan, Phiingkakarn (Kanoon) Asawowararit & Surasak (Keng) Kerdsin
Cast & Crew
Click on the image to read the bio!
Based on a true story
“The True History of the Tragic Life and Triumphant Death of Julia Pastrana, the Ugliest Woman in the World” is based on true events. During her lifetime, the real Julia Pastrana attracted the attention of influential people of her time such as P.T. Barnum and even Charles Darwin, who included her in his book “The Variation of Animal and Plants under Domestication”.
In 2013, more than a century and a half after her death, Julia Pastrana was given a proper burial near her birthplace in Sinaloa, Mexico. A New York Times article credited Shaun Prendergast's play as the inspiration for the nearly decade-long campaign that had her repatriated from a locked storage room in an Oslo research institute.
The play was written by British actor and playwright Shaun Prendergast. A founder member of Sir Kenneth Branagh's Renaissance Theatre Company, he has also made appearances as a pantomime dame –described on his debut in the Daily Telegraph as 'the finest, funniest pantomime Dame in London.' He has written extensively for the stage, television, radio and film.
The Spark Drama studio is conveniently located a 5-minute walk from the MRT Sukhumvit and BTS Asoke stations, in the 2nd floor of the Jasmine City Building. It hosted the Take Off Festival last year and has welcomed hundreds of aspiring actors to its drama classes, some of whom have gone on to successful careers in the film and TV industries. Spark Drama is lead by acting coaches Piangpaitoon Satrawaha, Romchat Tanalappipat and Keerati Siwakua.
November Fri 13th (Sold Out), Sat 14th (Sold Out) & Sun 15th (Sold Out)
November Fri 20th (Sold Out), Sat 21st (Sold Out) & Sun 22nd
November Fri 27th & Sat 28th (Extra Shows!)
All the shows will be performed at 7:30 p.m. (Doors will open 30 minutes before.)
How to book
Phone: 94480838 (Thai and English) / 910706597 (English only)
Prices below in Thai Baht (฿)
Artistic Director Peter O’Neill said, “We wanted to choose a season that highlights Peel and Spark Drama! The intimacy of the space means our audiences are involved in our pieces. They are part of the event!” Born in New York, with a BA in Theatre from College of the Holy Cross and an MFA in Theatre from CALARTS, by way of London, Peter found himself in Thailand directing “Bent” and “Gruesome Playground Injuries” for Peel the Limelight which he co-founded with Jaime Zúñiga.
Peter has acted, directed and produced for the stage in Los Angeles, New York, London and now Bangkok. “I feel that as theatre artists our role is to challenge our audience. I want them to be a part of it, I don't like the audience to hide! Our job is to move them, change them and make them question what they are experiencing. If we can start a conversation outside the theatre then we have done our jobs!” O’Neill said.
Spark Drama Managing Director Piangpaitoon Satrawaha described the partnership with Peel the Limelight as a new avenue of exploring the possibilities of the space. Piangpaitoon holds an MA in Dramatic Arts from the Faculty of Arts of Chulalongkorn University and works as an acting coach and casting manager for films, TV commercials and video presentations. “Immediately after the premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries at our space last February we initiated the conversation about future collaborations.” Satrawaha said.
Piangpaitoon has written for the screen for TV series such as “Thida-Dance” (Dancing Daughter) Channel 3 and “Atita” Channel 7. She has worked as acting coach for TV series such as “Sao Noi Roi Lan” (Millionaire Girl) on Channel 3. She has also directed for the stage, most recently the play “Salaryman”. “I was very impressed with the way Peel the Limelight had used the space and created an enticing atmosphere through a smart, creative production design. This is what I also teach my students – the endless possibilities of the theatrical imagination!” Satrawaha said.
The Spark Drama studio is conveniently located a 5-minute walk off the MRT Sukhumvit and BTS Asoke stations, in the 2nd floor of the Jasmine City Building. It hosted the Take Off Festival last year and has welcomed hundreds of aspiring actors to its drama classes. Piangpaitoon herself teaches at the school along with acting coaches Romchat Tanalappipat and Keerati Siwakua. "Many of our Spark students have found their passion and expanded their horizons through our classes. Some have gone on to successful careers in the film and TV industries." Satrawaha explained.
Executive Producer Jaime Zúñiga said, “We are very excited about our collaboration with Spark, because it give us the opportunity to produce a more intimate and honest theatre.” Originally from Nicaragua, Jaime burst onto the Asian theatre scene in 2011 with his colorful presentation of “The Importance of Being Earnest” in Ho Chi Minh City, where he co-founded Dragonfly Theatre Co. He relocated to Thailand in 2013 and co-founded Peel the Limelight with Peter O’Neill.
In May 2014, he appeared as Horst in their premiere production of “Bent” by Martin Sherman and last February in the role of Dougie in “Gruesome Playground Injuries” by Rajiv Joseph. “Our 2015/2016 season will be very unique in the theatre scene of Bangkok in the sense that we have curated a full season of shows that put the spotlight on women in extreme situations. All of these plays present us with strong female characters but each play and each character is totally different from the next one. Each production will be a radically new theatre going experience!” Zúñiga explained.