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Musical “Hong Gil-dong” starring Super Junior members Yesung and Sungmin [photographed by Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]

Musical “Hong Gil-dong”

The character Hong Gil-dong in the musical “Hong Gil-dong” does not run through the air using the magical method of contracting space and does not go around stealing things from rich noblemens houses. He only builds greenhouses and rooms so the poor people can make a living for themselves. Thanks to him, the city of Jang-seong has become a utopia where people grow sweet potatoes, make paper and “no ones dies from starvation.” And the character Hong Gil-dong (played by Yesung of Korean idol group Super Junior), who has established an era of peace, has become much more than a hero — rather a god-like figure people have started their naming their babies after. The musical “Hong Gil-dong” tells the story of Gil-dong, who disbanded [his group of thieves] Hwalbindang, after he goes back to Jang-seong where his mother is buried and his childhood friend Soo-jin (played by Ahn Yoo-jin) lives.

The new set-up and exquisite speech representing the times in the story come across as something quite fresh, but that does not mean that one can easily remove the image of Hong Gil-dong already embedded in one’s brain. Perhaps that is why the Hong Gil-dong in the musical seems awkward — he who doesn’t get angry even when is called “the little swine of a runaway slave,” when his beloved Soo-jin gets humiliated or when his fellow groupmates from Hwalbindang get killed by government officials. When he — like the character Dae-gil in KBS TV series “The Slave Hunters” — should be lighting up fire in his eyes and doing more, the Gil-dong played by Super Junior member Yesung only coughs dryly in a heavy, melancholy voice. It is only after all his sorrows are built up as high as a eight-story stone pagoda that he takes out his pole and says, “We have gotten angry over what is not right.” Has anyone seen such a Dalai Lama-like Hong Gil-dong? But everything aside, what is most awkward about Hong Gil-dong is his martial arts skills; when government officials collapse even after doing double rotations in the air, he looks like crystal dew sitting on a grass leaf. Gil-dong, I know you have confessed you “just want to live as a farmer” but I would like to see your fancy action and the magic method of contracting space just once.

Reporter : Jang Kyung-Jin
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk
Editor : Lynn Kim
<ⓒ10Asia All rights reserved>


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