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Fighting fire with fire
SUPERHEROES in fiction are a dime a dozen. Batman, Superman, and even Aquaman are household names, well-respected for their dedication to saving lives in extraordinary circumstances. Why, then, do we not glorify our real-life superheroes the same way? Korean non-verbal comedy performance Fireman is all set to change that.
Producer Min Kim says: "The thing is, people don't know much about firemen, and though our production is entertainment-focused, it's also got a serious undertone to it. We want our audience to leave happy, first and foremost, but also with a greater knowledge of what these brave people go through when tackling situations most others run away from."
Fireman follows a group of firefighting trainees, men and women both, overcoming obstacles and putting themselves through the wringer to become full-fledged firefighters.
One of the biggest challenges faced was in casting, because "our performers had to be fit enough and also able to convey their roles convincingly to the audience".
Which might not be as straightforward as you think, since the show is completely non-verbal and relies only on body language and action scenes to further the plot.
The main challenge for the actors is physical, says Choi Shi Hoon, who is one of the cast members. He explains: "We all come from different backgrounds, and some of us have no sporting experience at all. We have to be fit enough to fulfil our roles, and that requires a lot of training."
Basic training in parkour and acrobatics takes about four to five months, but it doesn't stop there. To ensure a safe performance, each cast member trains around two hours daily, and practises scenes about three to four hours prior to the actual performances.
The show was conceptualised last year and first performed in Korea in August 2015. The performers have since done promotional performances in countries like Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan. They will be in Singapore for two days on Dec 10 and 11, and hope to move on to other parts of the region thereafter.
Mr Kim says: "I've been bringing performances to Singapore for a number of years now and I find it to be a great testing ground. We'd like to see what our Singaporean viewers think of the show, and then hopefully use the reactions to take them to other South-east Asian countries too."
He adds: "Of course, we eventually would love to take Fireman to London and Broadway where the performance scene is at its most vibrant."
- Fireman will be held on Dec 10 and 11 at The Theatre at Mediacorp, 1 Stars Avenue. Tickets start at S$38 and are available from Sistic