Going to Theatres in Seoul Daehakro
Where to get tickets, can I go if I don’t know any Korean, etc?
I don’t know why I was always so busy when I travelled to Korea, so far I have only been the theatres twice despite my efforts trying to arrange going in my every trip.
I have been to one musical, Laundry (Bbalae in Korean) and one play adapted from a TV drama, Rooftop Cat. I watched both of them in Daehakro (same as Daehangro) which is according to the Korean Tourism Organisation webiste, the mecca of Korean theatre. Both are worth watching and there are a lot of other choices too.
Q: Can I watch if I don’t know any Korean?
A: I have read other people saying that they have enjoyed the musicals even though they don’t know any Korean. Some of the musicals are adapted from English original version, you can choose those. Some of the Korean original musicals have foreign language subtitles on certain days, e.g. for Bbalae, they have Chinese and Japanese subtitles on Saturday and Friday during the time when I went to watch this year. (The subtitles are shown on the right side of the stage, frankly it is quite difficult to read them while I try to watch the musical on stage, and not everything was translated.) And when I got my tickets from the ticket booth that day, they showed me a translated version of the rules and details for me to read, so you will be able to find the location and know the rules even if you don’t know any Korean.
Q: Where can you get the tickets?
A: You can buy them on Interpark Global website (but the global website doesn’t have any discount), if you are not going on weekends, you can consider buying right there in the Daehakro ticket office located at Marronnier Park. If you want to select your seats beforehand, you can try the Visit Seoul website, for some of the performances, they offer discounted tickets. Remember to arrive earlier to obtain the tickets, they won’t allow you in if you are late.
Q: Seat selection in small theatres?
A: Some of the performances encourage audience participation, for example in the Laundry musical, one of the scenes allow some of the audience to go up the stage to obtain autograph from the lead actor, but only those in the front row or on the side can get up the stage, but for viewing purposes, I think my seat in the middle of the 4th row is perfect.
Q: Which performance should I choose?
A: I like both of the performances I have watched before, but there are so many to choose from. Laundry is a really touching story about a girl who went to Seoul to work, I just kept crying many times. Rooftop Cat is a nice romantic comedy, very funny, I kept laughing out loud. If you don’t know any Korean, I guess musical is a better choice? The songs in Laundry are really nice. You can also go to Korean version of Interpark website to check out the actor/actress list, you may know some of the names, as some of the musical actors/actresses also appear in TV dramas.
Q: Can I take a picture?
A: You cannot take a picture during the performance, for some of the performances, not even the empty stage. For Laundry, they have mentioned explicitly that we can take pictures during the curtain call, so you can see this picture of mine for the view on the fourth row.
Some videos I found online
Another thing is that after Rooftop Cat play, the audience are allowed to go up the stage to have pics taken with the cast, and the pictures will be uploaded on their blog.