The Koreans Are Coming

 The face of musical theatre in London is set to change as a Korean theatre company arrives in the city next month to perform an epic spectacular that fuses Eastern and Western cultures.
The Hyundai Theatre Company performed ‘Another Sun’ in New York last year on the anniversary of 9/11 and it is due to play in London, on August 27 and 28 with three free performances.
Musician and conductor Joseph A Baker, who first worked on Broadway with David Cassidy in Blood Brothers, and whose credits include Wicked, Lion King and Starlight Express, says he has never been so excited about a musical production.

Joseph, who is the show’s musical conductor, is working alongside Another Sun’s Korean director Kim, Jin Young, and production supervisor Jeff Markowitz, who like Joseph boasts impressive Broadway credentials.
The orchestra will include traditional Korean musical instruments such as the Daegum and Haegum that will give the production a unique sound for Western audiences and the dance scenes will reflect Korean martial arts fused with the best of Broadway.
Joseph A Baker said: “When I started on this project in Seoul I didn’t know anything about Korean audiences. I found they were sophisticated and they want genuine feelings and emotions in the play, not something overdone and fake.
“What Hyundai Theatre Company has done is to knock down the walls of the traditional musical, such as Phantom of the Opera, and to bring a new merger of Western and Asian philosophies into one stunning piece.
“The work of all the various departments that come together to create a musical: lighting, set design, videography, choreography, costume design, musicians, actors and backstage crew are equal to any other theatre company in the world and certainly the equal of Broadway.
“The fact the musical is based on Korean history made it easier for me because here was something uniquely Korean I could add to, not have to build from scratch! I was able to learn about traditional Korean music and give it a slight variation so it sounds neither too Western nor too modern.”
Another Sun is scored by Jah Eun Lee, arranged and conducted by Joseph A. Baker with veteran Korean actor Kim, Sung-Won, playing the lead role of Dangun, with the mythical Goddess Mago character played by Woo, Sang-Min.
Another Sun will be performed at Sadler’s Wells Theatre at 8pm on Friday, August 27, and at 2.30 pm and 7.30 pm on Saturday, August 28.

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