Bang La Merd
3225 Words(EN), 2012-2015
《Bang La Merd》 是一齣獨角戲，創作靈感來自平民百姓遭控違反《冒犯君主罪》(泰國刑法第112條)而被判入獄的社會案件。
2012年的《Bang La Merd》演出是受安蓬•坦格農帕庫爾(Ampon Tangnoppakul)一案啟發。該案中，安蓬因在傳給前泰國總理 艾比希•威差奇瓦的簡訊中，被認為含有冒犯皇家的內容而被判入獄。安蓬入獄後，服刑未滿便死於獄中。2015年的《Bang La Merd：非我之地》則深受演員波恩席•曼空被捕入獄事件影響。該名演員因參與《狼新娘》 (The Wolf Bride)舞台劇演出，被判二年6個月的有期徒刑。該劇為泰國國立法政大學為紀念1973年10月學生民主示威運動40週年所舉辦的活動之一。
《Bang La Merd》 一劇旨在探討言論自由，該劇呈現了人們的言論自由遭政府機關脅迫的景象。整齣劇的建構形式是「編作劇場」，即故事本身並非平鋪直述，而是匯聚眾多概念的集合式創作。這樣的概念透過許多形式呈現：
《Bang La Merd》 在2012年於曼谷的B-Floor劇場首度演出，該劇於同年榮獲了國際劇評人協會（IATC）的「最佳原創舞台劇獎」。 2015年1月22日至2月9日，《Bang La Merd：非我之地》 依原劇重編，於曼谷的通羅藝術空間重演。該劇在建築的四樓演出，其戶外陽台連接了建築頂樓。在該劇的表演設計中，觀眾需隨著表演者移動、更換座位、四處走動。
“Bang La Merd" is a solo performance inspired by the incidents where ordinary people were accused and sentenced to imprisonment on lèse-majesté charges (Article 112 of Thailand's Criminal Code).
In the 2012 performance, “Bang La Merd" was inspired by the case of Ampon Tangnoppakul, who was convicted of sending the text messages to the secretary of then-Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva with content deemed offensive to the royal family. He was sentenced to imprisonment and later died in prison during his sentence. As for the succeeding 2015 performance, it was inspired by the case of Pornthip Munkong who was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in prison for her role in a performance of The Wolf Bride, a play presented as part of the 40th commemoration at Thammasat University of the October 1973 pro-democracy protest.
“Bang La Merd" addressed freedom of expression, showing how people’s right to freedom of expression is threatened by public authority. The method used in developing this performance is devised theatre—the story wasn’t told in a straightforward manner, but rather a collective creation in which many ideas were put together into a story. The ideas came in many forms, such as:
- The actress’s personal experience from when she was doing self-censorship
- The actress played the role of “teacher”, teaching audiences to put on Siamese smiles
- Devising body movements to convey the state where freedom of expression is limited, and how the subject is trying to fight the status quo.
- Creating a set design with many razor blades hanging everywhere, implying that there’s a ceiling imposed on freedom of expression, and it restricts the whole Thai society.
- Talking about people who inspired this performance through a fictitious story.
Each scene isn’t linked together to tell one single story, they are more like many fragmentary elements that connect together to convey a whole big picture, questioning the current situation of freedom of expression in Thai society.
“Bang La Merd” was written and first performed in 2012 at B-Floor Room, Pridi Banomyong Institute, Bangkok. It received the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) award for Best Original Play that year.
This restaged version of “Bang La Merd” was adjusted from the original production, and was performed between 22nd January and 9th February 2015 at Thong Lor Art Space, Bangkok. The play was performed on the fourth floor of the building with an outdoor balcony that connected to the rooftop of the building. The performance is designed for the audience to move, change seats, and walk around to follow the performer.