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14.09.2023 – 16.09.2023

Cuckoo by Jaha Koo

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Presented by LIFT

A bunch of talkative rice cookers take you on a journey through the last 20 years of Korean history.

Cuckoo is a bittersweet and humorous dialogue, a documentary of sorts. Economist-turned-artist Jaha Koo sits with his electronic friends, three rice cookers. Together they discuss the catastrophic market crash of 1997 and subsequent national phenomena, including unemployment, depression and suicide amongst young people in Korea. This show combines personal experience with political events and reflections on happiness and economic crises as a matter of life or death. The subject matter is dark, but there’s rich comedy in the wry observations, personal revelations, and of course in the concept itself.

This is an account of deep malaise in which the storytellers show enough wit and creativity to suggest that there is, against the odds, hope for the future.

Dates/Times: 14 and 15 September - 7pm / 16 September - 6pm

Location: Bridewell Theatre

Duration: 55 minutes

What to expect: Theatre / Indoor / Ticketed - Book tickets.

Man looking at a robot with an orange heart on a small digital screen, placed on a table on a black background

©Radovan Dranga

About Jaha Koo

Jaha Koo (°1984) is a South Korean theatre/performance maker and music composer. His artistic practice oscillates between multimedia and performance, all of which include his own music, video, text and installation. His performances are closely interweaved with politics, history and his own personal issues. Since 2014, Koo has been working on his Hamartia Trilogy, which thematically focuses on how the inescapable past tragically affects our lives today. The first part, Lolling and Rolling, was first presented by Zürcher Theater Spektakel in 2015. The second piece, Cuckoo, premiered at Steirischer Herbst Festival in 2017. The final part, The History of Korean Western Theatre, premiered at the International Summer Festival Kampnagel in 2020 and was selected for the TheaterFestival 2021.

About LIFT

LIFT, London’s international festival of theatre, brings joyful, daring and unforgettable theatre from around the world to London, using the whole of the city as our stage.  Every two years, we present a festival full of bold and relevant culture, international perspectives, and thought-provoking performances. Whether it’s a much-loved venue, iconic landmark or unsung corner of London, LIFT gathers Londoners around incredible art. Cuckoo is presented by LIFT as part of LIFT the City. Supported by the City of London Corporation in collaboration with Destination City. A new programme designed to bring performances, interventions, talks and outdoor events to the Square Mile.

‘As London revives and renews itself, and people across the Square Mile, especially those connected to business and services sector reimagine their relationship to work and wellness, LIFT invites audiences to encounter this disarming, insightful performance from Jaha Koo as part of our new LIFT the City series. It will give you a chance to reflect and think big on what's important.’ — Kris Nelson, Artistic Director & CEO, LIFT.

‘Cuckoo is an educational and philosophical treasure, with hilarious banter between rice cookers…It masterfully balances the personal and the worldwide, the human and the inanimate, creating a unique pressure-cooked theatrical feast.’ — Montreal Theatre Hub.

‘Cuckoo is a heavy, affecting piece of documentary theatre that masterfully wields its multimedia for both dark humour and piercing effect.’ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ — Bakchormeeboy.

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