Bangkok Community Theatre: Behind The Scenes With Director Cian Green

Cian Green discussed with BKK OX his upcoming production Shipwrecked: An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself).

Inspired by Absurdist theatre, and the legendary double act Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, Cian Green relishes the challenge of directing plays which are outside of the “box”.

Green bided his time before joining Bangkok Community Theatre, four years ago. He knew they were Bangkok’s only community-run, English language theatre group, and observed BCT’s progress with a keen interest over the years. Yet it wasn’t until they took a gamble on the unknown, that he knew it was his time.

“BCT always seemed to be the pantomimes, the musicals, the stock community theatre stuff, such as Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, Pirates of Penzance. One day they took a chance on a young director, on a play called “Almost Maine” and I thought: if they can take a chance on that, then they might do the same with me.”

Cian Green – Director at BCT

Green has directed a string of plays which have sent ripples through Bangkok’s theatre community. His plays use props and clever stage trickery, blended seamlessly with the acting, to draw the audience into his story. 

Green will have plenty of opportunities to engage the audience in his upcoming production, Shipwrecked: An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself).

“I like this production because it’s storytelling theatre, meaning there’s not the usual fourth wall of everyone being polite and sitting quietly. I want the audience to OOH and AHHH and be drawn into this man’s story.”

Cian Green – Director at BCT

This man is Louis de Rougemont, who in 1898 began documenting his sensational exploits in The Wide World Magazine, a British periodical. His adventures to unchartered lands, and subsequent tales, had millions convinced as he detailed his extraordinary discoveries. Eventually Louis was exposed as a liar.

The play will draw the crowd into his exotic world of invented discoveries and in the process, create the same feeling of wonder and amazement Louis was able to achieve through the medium of magazine.

In order to create this desired effect, Cian Green has some ”magic tricks” up his sleeve.

“We will have lots of lifts, people balancing on each other’s backs, swimming around the stage, some perspective changing scenes and of course, a giant turtle. This play has all the elements I like, the physicality, the movement, the storytelling.” 

Cian Green – Director at BCT

Green’s first ever show for BCT was Circle Mirror Transformation, which saw the audience looking at the cast through mirrors for the entire show. This drew a mixed reaction from the audience, but a reaction is exactly what Green is looking for when he directs a play.

Rehearsals are underway for this exciting production, which arrives on the Creative Industries stage at M Theatre in September. The cost of rehearsing in this space, and performing, on top of the license fee for the production, Green described as “crippling”. Despite this, Bangkok Community Theatre have managed to run a successful, self-sufficient enterprise for over 30 years, largely thanks to the support of Bangkok’s loyal theatre-goers. For this upcoming show, they are grateful to have received sponsorship from Harrow International School Bangkok, BNH Hospital, and Tenderloins Bistro 33.

For those who don’t normally go to the theatre, or have never been before, this could be the right production to get started in theatre.

“If you’ve never seen a theatre show before, this is the perfect show to make you think: “there’s more to theatre than I previously thought.” If you are into theatre and you’re bored of the usual fare, this will be surprising and you get to learn some cool history too.”

Cian Green – Director at BCT

Green hopes this production will resonate with a younger audience as much as the adults. BCT have stated that the show is suitable for six years and above, owing to its broad themes and wide-ranging appeal. 

“I hope people bring their families along and their kids, and we create that ‘Toy Story effect’ where the kids are amazed and the parents are equally amazed, but for different reasons. So it’s working on multiple levels.”

Cian Green – Director at BCT

BKK OX went to see the cast during their “blocking” of the upcoming production, in their rehearsal space at the quaint Bistro 33. Five of the seven were there in attendance and there was a strong camaraderie in the group, with Green doggedly working to perfect the little moments, which will make the production one to remember when it reaches Bangkok’s Creative Industries stage in September.

“I hope and pray when people look at my show and they will see that is a cohesive team and they’re all on the same page, because I really put the time in to make it so.”

 

“I pride myself on turning non-actors into actors and I’ve surprised myself on a few occasions with what people are capable of, and that’s another reason why I do this.”

Cian Green – Director at BCT

Nitty Gritties: Shipwrecked – An Entertainment : The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By himself)

  • Who? Directed by: Cian Green; Produced by: Bonnie Zellerbach
  • When? Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm September 27 & 28 and October 4 & 5, 2019
  • Saturday afternoon matinees at 3:00pm September 28 & October 5, 2019
  • Where? Creative Industries at M-Theatre, Phetchaburi Road, Bangkok
  • Tickets available from August 1, 2019
  • How much? 800THB per person; everyone must have a ticket regardless of age
  • Recommended for Adults and Children age 6+

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