Siam Niramit, Bangkok | A Musical about Thai Culture and History
Went to see Siam Niramit in Bangkok tonight. It’s my third time. Second for my girls. Great and grand, as planned. Although I’ve seen it before, I still get a thrill from the majestic scenes and the guy diving in the stage-long canal. The sets and costumes designers did a beautiful job at illustrating Thailand’s culture and traditions.
A sign o’ the times though: the show was not even half full. A third maybe? Tough to keep filling up a 2,000 seats theater built for transient tourists when red shirts and other colored shirts are driving tourism away. That plus the crisis and you start wondering: how long can the creators of DreamWorld (if they are still in the deal) keep paying the 150 stage performers + technical crew to maintain Siam Niramit as a top notch 80-minute musical? It ain’t gonna be easy.
I remember having seen two elephants on stage before. Now there’s only one. Sigh. Where did Dumbo go? The sparkly paper butterflies showered from the ceiling at the end have been replaced with cheaper color paper clips. Too bad Siam Niramit can’t keep up its promises four years into running. It was supposed to be a “cultural attraction that will add a classy touch of glamour to Thailand as a more desired travel destination.” It’s still worth the 1,500 Baths per seat and (by the way) small kids can sit on their parents’ lap so you can save on family outings. But unless the producers tweak the show on a regular basis to fidelize a local client basis too, tourism has proven too unsteady an income source to save the show. It’s time to rethink the act. Siam Niramit needs to live on – not just for the tourists.