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“[INTERVIEW] Theatrical Performance Like No Other – CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab Out This June”

If you’re talking about a gourmet wanderlust, nothing beats the sizzling flavours of South Korea and Singapore. This June, the two hearty cuisines that we’ve grown to love will delectably fuse together in ‘CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab’ at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

Helmed by acclaimed Director Kim Choi Ki, the blockbuster theatrical production promises to keep you engrossed and at the edge of your seat, with madcap antics, beat-boxing, b-boying, acapella singing and not to forget, cooking. Director Choi’s latest theatrical foray features a new adaption exclusively for Singaporean audiences, with the collaboration of rising starlets Jayley and Hayley Woo. Starring alongside them will be Green Chef played by Woo Young Wook, the show’s music director and Sexy Chef played by Ko Eun Hee and Iron Chef played by Lee Sung Min. Together, the chefs will be locked in a riotous and exhilarating competition with generous servings of fun and laughter.

The Seoul Story had the opportunity to interview South Korea’s most prolific creative talent Director Choi Chul Ki and Singapore’s rising starlets Jayley and Hayley Woo!

Mr Choi Chul Ki, Director of CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab

Q: What inspired the idea of combining the 2 different cuisines?
A:
Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab is a new adaption of CHEF and we wanted to make it exclusive for the Singaporean audiences so I thought it would be very interesting to unveil the pride of the two cuisines by competing each other.

Q: CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab has been performed all over the world. How different is the show at RWS going to be like?
A:
We’ve had around 1,000 performances worldwide. What makes the Singapore production so unique is that we’ve included a competition between Bibimbap and Chilli Crab. The audience themselves can actually choose which one is better in the show, so it adds this interactive element to it, thus making it different from the previous shows.

Q: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab, similar to your other shows, is a nonverbal performance. What efforts did you take to ensure that the overall story is still being conveyed properly?
A:
It’s definitely a challenge for me to direct a non-verbal musical, without any language. But so far, the cast and I myself have studied very hard and put in a lot of effort to approach the audience. We focus a lot more on non-verbal actions, exaggerated body movements and facial expressions.

 


Q:
Would you say that CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab is an upgraded version of your previous shows? Why?
A:
First of all, I’ve learnt a lot from my experience of more than 20 years in this industry and I obtain and study data and trends from previous shows. This show is an upgraded version because it’s more interesting, as it is actually a competition between two different teams and no one in the audience can predict who will win, so that itself enhances the fun element.

Q: Do you have any other genres that you’d like to try to direct or produce in the future?
A:
I’m a creator, so I’m always thinking of new ideas and currently, I have many new ideas in my mind that I would like to try out in the future.

Q: Describe the show in a succinct sentence.
A:
CHEF is a fun combination of a cooking competition and a musical that satisfies all the five senses.

 

Jayley and Hayley Woo, Singaporean cast

Q: How would you describe the role of Cutie Chef?
A:
It’s a really cute role. Whatever she does is towards the higher pitch, so the tone she’s going to go out with and the facial expressions she uses are more bubbly and bright. If you see her, you can’t help but smile.

Q: You guys are taking turns to play one role. Why is that so?
A:
It’s more of a schedule thing. I’m (Hayley) is busy in July and she’s (Jayley) busy in June so we’ll be taking turns. But then, we’ll mix it up a little bit. The audience don’t know which exact show we’ll be performing so it’s sort of an element of surprise?

Q: If you had to choose Bibimbap or Chilli Crab, which would you choose and why?
A:
I think, without a doubt, I’ll choose Chilli Crab because of the mantou… (laughs) To me, it’s more of a Singapore culture, it’s like a bond here and I’m proud to be Singaporean. So to be able to take part in this production is like exchanging and bringing our culture over to Korea and sharing what Singapore has to offer to a wider audience.


Q:
In the show, you are masters of cooking. Do you personally like cooking?
A:
Cooking? I love eating though. But I can bake! (laughs) The best dish I can cook is maggie noodle, but without using the seasoning, I do my own seasoning but that says a lot!

Q: What’s the difference between acting for dramas and for a musical?
A:
Acting is like – you can cut any time, NG and start all over but for a musical, it’s like a one-go so you need to do everything from the top till the end.

But I also think that because we’re so used to acting on set, we’ll tend to portray more internal expressions but on stage, it’s like singing and expressing yourself more theatrical-wise. But I love acting and being on stage as well so it’s a form of expression and emotions, and I think they’re both equally great.

 

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Tantalising not just your eyes and ears, this production is determined to engage all five senses to convey the wonders and joy of cooking. Taking the concept of eat-ertainment to a whole new level, award-winning RWS Executive Pastry Chef Kenny Kong has created an exclusive Chilli Crab Tart for the show.

The delectable pastry with succulent chilli crab filling can be purchased at Resorts World Theatre’s food and beverage counter during the weekends. Guests who’ve purchased the weekend VIP category tickets ($118) and Category One ($98) tickets will receive a complimentary tart and a can of coke.

Who will be the winner – Bibimbap or Chilli Crab? Guess you’ll have to find out for yourself! CHEF: Bibimbap vs Chilli Crab is set to start sizzling the stage at Resorts World Theatre at RWS from 10 June 2017 to 22 July 2017. For more information, please visit https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/chef0717.

We would like to thank Resorts World Sentosa for allowing us media coverage for the event! 🙂

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