The List by Lucy Park
What is it?
Based on the true story of South Korean actress Ja-yeon Jang this moving yet harrowing piece follows her career from it's humble beginnings to it's devastating end in 2009.
What's it all about?
The life of Ja-Yeon Jang is a heartbreaking story of a young woman's struggles to reach success and the abhorrant treatment she experienced throughout her life. Park, in her one woman show, begins by introducing us to an innocent, wide eyed dreamer hoping of one day making it big as an actress. As she comes into this success, Jang finds that the people she thought she could trust subsequently are not the people she thought they were. After years of abuse she decides to take her own life, but not before leaving a suicide note, listing over 30 names of her abusers.
The unsettling results of the investigations into these allegations is sickening and it is incredibly sad to witness such unjust treatment of a person who was so desperate for help.
How did it make me feel?
This show shook me in such a dark way, and immediately as a woman apart of the same kind of community I was blindsided by the ending of this story. It is no surprise that the audience too, who had become smitten with this lovely, kind character felt the real loss of her in themselves and this palpable feeling is a credit to Park's writing and performance.
Use of abstract movement to convey the struggle and pain of some of Jang's darkest moments, and traditional Korean dance as her moment of victory are also brilliant and sets this piece apart from what we know of traditional theatre.