World premiere of Kyo Choi’s The Apology to run at Arcola Theatre

New Earth Theatre and Arcola Theatre, in association with The North Wall, have announced the world premiere of Kyo Choi’s The Apology.

The piece, which explores the ‘comfort women’ of the Second World War and the subsequent political cover-up, will open at Arcola Theatre on 19 September (with previews from 15 September) and runs to 8 October

Directed by Ria Parry and based on true accounts by survivors, The Apology is a play about the meaning of justice in the face of atrocity.

A powerful human story which asks how a nation can apologise for the crimes of its past.

Seoul, 1991. Priyanka is beginning the UN investigation into the ‘comfort women’ of the Second World War, and the subsequent political cover-up. Yuna is about to learn the family secret her father has shamefully concealed for her whole life. And Sun-Hee, having kept her silence for over forty years, is on the brink of speaking out – an act which will ignite a fire that could spread across the world. Three women’s lives intertwine as they campaign for the truth against those who would rather it remain forgotten.

Artistic Director of New Earth Theatre, Kumiko Mendl said: “I’m thrilled that New Earth will finally present Kyo Choi’s The Apology at the Arcola this autumn. When Kyo first began this play, there were less than fifty registered ‘comfort women’ still alive in South Korea.

“Now there are only fourteen, lending an urgency to a story that directly affected up to an estimated 200,000 women, not only from Korea. Developed through New Earth’s Professional Writers Programme, Kyo’s play brings this buried story to life. The quest for justice in the face of government sponsored atrocities against women continues to be as relevant today as it has ever been.”

Kyo Choi added: “New Earth’s remit has been to champion BESEA talent, representation and voices. I didn’t want to write the classic historical trauma story but rather look at the subject through the lens of big geopolitics and the larger issue of personal and collective memories versus revisionism, how those dynamics play out when individuals are marginalised for a larger agenda.

“The core of the story is three women who address violence against women in different ways but with a common goal: to speak truth to power. It’s a timeless story and one that’s important, for me, on both a personal level – the strength and courage it takes to speak out – and global level where right-wing extremism, tyranny and censorship are destabilising democracies all over the world.”

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About the author: Josh Darvill

Josh is Stageberry's editor with over five years of experience writing about theatre in the West End and across the UK. Prior to following his passion for musicals, he worked for more than a decade as a TV journalist.


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