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Seoul-Searching at Sejong Theater: Xcalibur - Seoul-Searching is Soul Searching - The Journey of Arthur to find himself to be a king
  • 기사등록 2019-06-24 10:47:50
  • 수정 2019-06-24 10:52:40
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[NEWS PORTAL STARTODAY] There’s a new musical playing at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul, featuring, among so many very talented actors, singers and musicians, Korea’s beloved singer/actor, XIA Kim Junsu.


Xia Kim Junsu has evolved from a legendary K-Pop icon to a legendary musical actor. As a legend it is fitting that he plays the role of the legendary King Arthur in the musical, Xcalibur, now playing until August 4th.


"Xcalibur" tells the story of the legendary British King Arthur of Camelot. In the words of playwright, Ivan Menchell: “Our version of the story focuses on Arthur’s journey, starting as an out-of-control boy whose destiny it is to become a king, but who must fight his inner demons to become a truly great man worthy of the crown.


I think that what makes this production unique is that in such an epic story, because it’s a musical, we are able to focus on the internal emotions of not only Arthur but all of the characters. I would say that the thing to focus on, the thing that’s interesting about this show, is the theme which is the battles that we all have to fight internally and externally to become the best people we can become. 


The Saxon battle, the big looming war, represents the external threat we face as a society, as a country, and as a nation. Arthur’s battle with his dragon, I hope everyone will identify with. It represents the battles that we all must fight emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally to become the best versions of ourselves, to become our higher self. Every character in the play fights their own battle. Their ending is determined by how successful they are fighting their own inner demons.”



If you are a fan of XIA Junsu then you are well aware of the hardships he has endured throughout his career. No doubt he has faced a few demons along the way. However he has clearly overcome them all. Today we see a very confident singer-actor who shines very brightly just as King Arthur did. Audiences flock to see his performances. Tickets are sold out almost as soon as they become available. XIA Junsu is a true powerhouse on stage. He is the energy that moves the musicals as he exudes passion with every move and every sound.


Xcalibur is produced by EMK Musical Company and directed by Stephen Rayne. The music is composed by Frank Wildhorn and playwright Ivan Menchell, both from America. This is not the first time this team has come together. Their collaborations have produced a number of hit musicals including, "Death Note" and "Mata Hari." Xcalibur most definitely meets and exceeds our expectations for top quality theater in Korea and even in the world. As Menchell noted: “I would never be able to experience something of this scale back home. This is truly unique to Korea, to EMK, and to be able to have that kind of support, I’m so grateful.”



Composer, Frank Wildhorn, noted the influence of Celtic music, specifically citing artists including “The Chieftains”, “The Script” and “U2” and the use of the Celtic sound, the Celtic flutes, the drums which all help to “put us in a place and in a time”. Wildhorn highly praised the Korean team, artists and actors. “I’ve been very lucky and honored to work with so many of the actors and musicians . In fact, for (Xia) Junsu, who I call my Korean brother, this is our fourth collaboration together. This part of Arthur really challenges the actor maybe in a different way then we’ve ever done before, starting with the young boy becoming the man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. And they have risen to that challenge and the acting is just superb.”


About working in Korea Wildhorn stated, “I’d like to thank the Korean team for supporting us and sharing for so many years in so many productions. I think in many ways this show is a pinnacle and a culmination of my partnership with great producers, EMK. I think what audiences will see and hear and experience will be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. I always say that if the performers perform with the passion that I write with, good things will happen. The one thing that I can always count on here in Seoul with the artists, the musicians and the singers is the great passion that they perform with.”



XIA Junsu is clearly the main draw for this, and all musicals he performs in, however Xcalibur is not lacking in extraordinary talent. Check out the list here: “Arthur” is portrayed by musical actors Kai, Xia Kim Junsu, and Do Kyeom, who makes his acting debut in Xcaliber. The role of “Lancelot”, Arthur’s right hand man, features Um Ki Joon, Lee Jee Hoon and Park Kang Hyun. Arthur’s half sister turned enchantress, “Morgana”, is played by Shin Young Sook and Chang Eun Ah. “Merlin”, the iconic Wizard is magically acted by Kim Joon Hyun and Son Jun Ho while Sophie Kim and Min Kyoung Ah win our hearts as “Guinevere”, Arthur’s love interest. The role of “Ector” is played by Cho Won Hee and Lee Jong Mun, and Lee Sang Jun enjoys the role of “Wulfstan”. The Executive Producer is Eum Hong Hyun and the Producer is Sophy Jiwon Kim


Menchell’s final and most profound statement left a lasting impression on me; “I hope this production will inspire people to take on their own struggles and to become the kings or queens of their own lives.”


Review by Kim Miso (aka Rahel Limor)

[NEWS PORTAL STARTODAY / startoday.net]

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