Wichaya Artamat Four Days in September (The Missing Comrade)[Theatre]
Things and people disappear and, sometimes, reappear. Events repeat themselves: a birthday party between friends, a coup d’état, and the kidnapping of demonstrators. But history goes on. In his latest creation, Wichaya Artamat continues his theatrical exploration of Thailand’s political history.
September 1990. A group of friends is gathered together in a living-room. They are celebrating the anniversary of an old ceiling fan. They drink, eat and make jokes. One of them disappears. The apartment overflows with news from outside and snippets of conversations that make no sense. Then someone, who resembles the disappeared friend, reappears. In September 2020, the group gathers together once again to celebrate the anniversary of the ceiling fan. Four Days in September (The Missing Comrade) uses disappearance and reappearance as a vehicle for recounting Thailand’s political history. Four days which trace thirty years of a far more wide-reaching story, punctuated by military coups, social unrest and repression. By means of his investigations into temporality, and the articulation of the intimate and the collective, the theatre of Wichaya Artamat turns the stage into a means for reflecting on how history carries on regardless, beneath our very eyes, and our relationship with it.