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Bangkok Theatres

Bangkok Patravadi Theatre

Founded by actress Miss Patravadi Mejudhon, Bangkok's first open-air theatre is located on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, directly opposite the Grand Palace and next to Wat Rakang - an ideal setting for plays set in the Ratanakosin era. Miss Patravadi is dedicated to keeping the art of Thai theatre alive Patravadi Theatre holds regular demonstrations and lectures on the subject. It also provides training and workshops for local university students studying performance arts. Although 'Khon' and Thai folk dances are a central theme at the theatre, it also caters for modern tastes with foreign directors and choreographers often leading contemporary productions. The theatre houses great gardens and a restaurant. The theatres schedule of events also includes Yoga, ballet classes, and workshops on topics such as voice training. For this part of this world, this is a very innovative theatre environment, and of course a visit here will be entirely dependent on your level of interest in theatre and what productions are playing. Most shows are Thai language.

Details: Performances take place 19:30 every Friday and Saturday and admission is free. Plays based on Buddhist teaching take place on Sundays at 14:00.

Joe Louis Puppet Theatre

The history of Thai puppets goes back about 300 years. The art of Hun Lakorn Lek (which means 'small puppet performance') has been revived by artist Joe Louis. Different from other traditional Thai puppets, the Joe Louis puppet play is performed in a special way in which three manipulators control the movement of one puppet. Today his troup is the only one in Thailand, that still performs this wonderful and unique kind of puppet play.

Sakorn Yangkhiawsod (alias "Joe Louis"), who was consecrated National Artist in 1996, has given new birth to Thai Traditional Puppetry.

Today his troupe is the only one in Thailand that still performs this wonderful and unique kind of puppet play.

Hun Lakorn Lek (Traditional Thai Small Puppet) was created 100 years ago by Master Krea Sapatawanich, but suddenly disappeared after the world War II started.

More than 50 years later Joe Louis (Mr. Sakorn Yangkhiawsod) received about 30 puppets from Master Krea's daughter and rediscovered this discipline after having realized its priceless value.

Now the troupe is the only and the last troupe in Thailand. We opened Joe Louis Theater in Nonthaburi in 1999 for him but all 50 puppets and his house were destroyed by a fire in the same year. The New Joe Louis Theater is located in Suan-Lum Night Barzaar.

The Ramayana is the epic story that originates from India. In Thailand we use this story for "Thai Mask Dance". So, Thai Mask Dance, it's a pattern of "Hun Lakorn Lek", the movement of the "Hun Lakorn Lek" seem like a Thai Mask Dance.

Traditional Thai Dance and Drama

For something a little more cultural, Bangkok features some excellent examples of traditional Thai dance and drama. Known as khon , these performances involve masked actors portraying heroes, heroines, monkeys and demons from the Ramakian (the Thai version of the Hindu Ramayana ). Two of the best places to see khon are the National Theatre and the Chaloem Krung Royal Theatre.

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