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  • Writer's pictureSophie Adams

Roommate: Penalty Kick - A Must-See Theatre Play

The play "Roommate: Penalty Kick" is set to be staged at the Adapter Theatre in Busan from March 12th to April 7th, 2024. The show is becoming increasingly popular for its comedic portrayal of youth and everyday challenges they face.

The plot revolves around Kyu-jin, an aspiring actor, he shares a cramped Seoul apartment with his friends Seung-hwan and Seung-min, who are working hard preparing for a national exam. One fateful day, Kyu-jin sustains a leg injury during a delivery job and impulsively uses his saved rent and bill money for sports betting. As tension mounts, Seung-hwan grows suspicious of Kyu-jin's anxious demeanour during the Asian Games quarterfinal football match. Upon discovering Kyu-jin's gambling habit, long-held frustrations erupt into a heated confrontation. Amidst the chaos, they wrestle with their individual struggles.

The co-producer of the play Seung-Min Yang said: "Our efforts on "Roommate" began during Covid, a period full of challenges. Our aim was to offer a source of happiness to all amidst the adversity. It has been a journey spanning about five years to bring the show to audiences in this way."

The central theme in the play "Roommate: Penalty Kick" revolves around youth. The set resembles a studio apartment, reflecting the typical living arrangements of young men in their twenties. Rather than a conventional backdrop, the rear wall has a clothes rail, mirroring the cramped quarters of a shared living space where three men reside. Clothes scattered about add to the authenticity of the scene. Notably, the stage features a striking display of soju bottles lining both sides of the wall, symbolizing the coping mechanisms of the characters. In South Korea young people usually grapple with the harsh realities of job hunting, pursuing dreams, and facing an uncertain future, which will resonate with the audience. Each character seeks solace in their own way, but the abundance of soju bottles collectively represents their shared anxieties and struggles.

The trio Kyu Jin-Baek, Seung-Min Yang, and Seung-Hwan Kang embody the main roles with remarkable skill in "Roommate: Penalty Kick." Their on-screen chemistry is exceptionally genuine, creating a performance of outstanding quality that has been appreciated by audiences due to their natural and relatable interactions.

According to Seung-Min Yang, Comedy is a universally loved genre, appealing to both the young and the old. The surge in demand for short-form content on platforms like YouTube and Instagram reflects today's "snack culture", where people seek quick laughs akin to consuming snacks.

He said: "We recognized the need for theatre to embrace diversity in genre. That's why we crafted main scenes of the play and interactions with television, focusing on realism and dynamic live performances. Embracing the challenges and celebrating the small victories of this unconventional comedy has encouraged our group to explore even more unconventional and daring pursuits, leaving our comfort zone further."

Director Yong-Hee Park, from Busan, orchestrates stage magic that captivates the eyes and uplifts the soul. "Roommate: Penalty Kick" not only resonates with the younger generation but also evokes nostalgia for older viewers, offering a universal appeal across generations.

Despite being a skilled writer, he has shifted his focus to directing multiple projects. Engaged in the vibrant Busan theatre scene for quite some time, he has solidified his position as a highly sought-after director.

His longstanding collaboration with ICONTACT theatre led to his involvement in "Roommate: Penalty Kick" and he hopes to work with them on future projects with his unique perspective to mesmerise the audience once again.

Seung-Min Yang, an actor and producer, a versatile individual. Not only collaborated as a co-producer with Adapter Theatre but also assumes a key role as one of the main characters in the stage production. He said: "We did one month of intensive rehearsals to be able to get Roommate: Penalty Kick out to the audience fast. The response has been amazing.

According to Seungmin, the Roommates trilogy presents an opportunity to continue pushing boundaries in genre experimentation, offering audiences fresh and exciting experiences.

Seung-Min said: "We hope our dedication and research in comedy theatre craftsmanship will resonate with audiences and fellow organizations, inspiring further innovation in genre fusion. With continued exploration, I am optimistic that comedy theatre can transcend its commercial stereotypes, evolving into a dynamic art form appreciated for its creativity and depth."

Representative of ICONTACT , he has had the pleasure of collaborating with Kyu-Jin Baek and Seung-Hwan Kang for seven years, forming a strong bond with these actors. Their longstanding partnership and rapport are evident in their interactions in "Roommate: Penalty Kick", where they complement each other seamlessly.

ICONTACT is considered the most popular and beloved performing arts group in Busan. Seung-Min is planning a new project which will be an immersive art exhibition in which the audience will have the opportunity to express their story. Master of original ideas, he is sure to make a success of it.

Kyu-Jin Baek, a talented writer and one of the main performers, has garnered praise in recent reviews of "Roommate: Penalty Kick." He is the mastermind behind the Roommate trilogy of plays, all slated for performance this year. "Roommate: Spike," focuses on three female characters, is set for staging in April. His third instalment will feature a diverse cast of both male and female characters.

Observing the plight of theatre performances in the wake of the pandemic, Baek Kyu-jin thought about, What truly brings a play to life and he hoped to craft a play conveying a message of mutual support through authentic comedic expression. He achieved his goal by creating "Roommate: Penalty Kick" a beloved production cherished by all who experience it.

Seung-Hwan Kang, an accomplished theatre artist, portrays the character Seung-Hwan with finesse. Hailing from Busan, he boasts a rich repertoire of stage performances, honing his craft as a seasoned actor. His impeccable comedic timing in "Roommate: Penalty Kick" enhances the play's allure, infusing it with a distinct charm.

If you are interested, you can buy tickets for "Roommate: Penalty Kick" through the Adapter Theatre website. Each ticket is priced at $20, with two performances available from Monday to Friday, and one performance scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

If you wish to get in touch with the cast and crew of "Roommate: Penalty Kick" you can contact them or alternatively get in touch with Korea Vine.

You can follow the cast and crew on Instagram to see what their latest projects are and what they are up to in their daily lives. You can find information in the Resources section of our website.


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