I haven’t seen many plays, but “Battalia Royale” is special because it was my first time to see an interactive play. The whole venue was turned into a stage, and it was as if we were having a “The Others” experience.
“You can see them, but they can’t see you,” said one of the organizers right before the show started — “them” meaning the actors.
That was August last year. We were warned that there will be blood and a lot of killings just like in the film. And as if the adaptation was not enough to excite me, a typhoon was about to hit Manila that night, and the rain made the play even more exciting.
“Battalia Royale” is a play based on the Japanese dystopian film called “Battle Royale,” which was based from a novel of the same name. In the film, a class of middle school students are chosen to participate in “Battle Royale,” a 3-day competition or game wherein the participants need to kill one another until only one of them survives.
The film was released in 2000 in Japan, and those who have seen it have suspected that this is the inspiration behind “The Hunger Games.”
In the play, imagine the actors circling the compound just like an isolated island. And when they ran, we ran with them. When they battled with each other, we were there to witness the fight. In the end, only one of them survived.
When can we see something like this again?