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Question about blocking: Kim, Thuy, Engineer & Soldiers 
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Supporting Player
Supporting Player

Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:00 pm
Posts: 110
Post Question about blocking: Kim, Thuy, Engineer & Soldiers
This is a question about the staging of the sequence after "I Still Believe" and "Coo-coo, Princess" where Thuy calls the soldiers in to punish Kim for rejecting him.

The stage directions as per the libretto printed in the Complete Symphonic Recording (my only exposure to the show until the professional production toured here in Australia a couple of years ago) simply say "The soldiers ransack the room and beat up the Engineer."

However, in the professional production I saw, during the "You are a woman who lived without shame, You're an infection left over from war" bit by the soldiers, they are holding Kim down and beating/torturing her, whilst Thuy watches and I think the Engineer was being held down by another soldier. During the instrumental interlude after "She must pay, and her partner too!" the soldiers blindfold both Kim and the Engineer and prepare to execute them before Thuy apparently has a change of heart and orders the soldiers out of the room again.

If anybody here has seen a professional production elsewhere (the US or UK I'm imagining, given the demographics of this forum), is this blocking what's been done all along and the stage directions in the libretto just a bit misleading, or is the beating of Kim and the preparation to execute both her and the Engineer kind of a new development post the original direction of the production?

I did watch the documentary of the making of the original London production, but it was many years ago and I can't remember if they showed this scene or not.


Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:33 pm
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Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer

Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:04 am
Posts: 33
Location: Tokyo
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Post Re: Question about blocking: Kim, Thuy, Engineer & Soldiers
The staging for the "Original production" as well as the revised London 2014 production are not that different.
In both stagings, Thuy calls in his soldiers to show how much power he has. The soldiers beat up Kim and the Engineer, proceeding to blindfold them. Thuy's soldiers almost shoot both of the them right then and there, but Thuy calls them off at the last minute. ("That's enough, get out!!!) I don't think Thuy would ever have Kim executed since his character has done everything so he could find his fiance Kim. (ie. switch to the Viet Cong side, risk his life through the front line just to find Kim and advance his career) He is just incredibly hurt and angry over her rejection that he just loses it and goes completely over the edge after seeing Tam for the first time.

Note:
The Australian production that you saw actually encompasses much of the staging that makes up the current 2014 production.
The set is basically the same, but the direction and choreography has been updated for the return to London.

The documentary shows a small snippet from this scene, but the scene was revised again after that even in the Original production.


Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:34 pm
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