Places to See with the Kids: Nanta

Nanta! is a blast. The 90 minute live show is built around four cooks' efforts to prepare an entire wedding banquet in only one hour. The show is done entirely without words. The cast pounds drums, beats out rhythms with cleavers, juggles plates, makes fun of kung fu movies and most other stuff.

Nanta! also manages to incorporate elements from the Korean cultural heritages of samulnori, Buddhist ceremony and the high-energy drumming seen throughout East Asia (ex. Kodo in Japan). The show was a sold-out hit at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival.

Audience participation is required so the kids can (and should) clap and shout throughout the show. While there is nothing inappropriate for any age, infants might not like the loud noise. The very first ten minutes or so evoke Buddhist pray ceremonies and are on a darkened stage that might be a little scary for young kids. This opening is ended with a huge flash of light and blast of music—our youngest (age 5) was just starting to whine when it ended (both the whining and the darkened stage).

The theatre is small (300 seats) so there is little difference between the best seats (about US$36 [W40,000] and the cheap ones (US$18 [W20,000]). “Little kids” get tickets 10% cheaper. In Korea you can reserve seats by calling 02-739-8288 (some English spoken).

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