Adelaide Fringe Review: Ari Arari is a spectacular Korean folk musical

Ari Arari is a musical based on a 600-year-old Korean folk song. “Arirang” is surmised to mean “my beautiful one,” and the story is set in the Gangwon Province of Korea. Symbolic of the enduring bond between North and South Korea, it is a sweeping epic story of a daughter’s search for her carpenter father who left the family home some fifteen years before.

Director Junghwan Yoon and Video Director Hawoung Jang have created a luxurious set that helps bring the story to life. The simple story of the carpenter who leaves his family to help build the Royal Palace, before losing his money and memory is touching and heartfelt, while the tale of his determined daughter setting off on a quest to bring him home is heroic.

The costumes are truly epic, and really capture the feeling of a timeless era. Props including a ship, and a massive tree trunk that becomes a set of drums are simply fantastic. Meanwhile, the depth of the stage is used to remarkable effect, with scenes projected onto curtains giving a real sense of place and time.

The music is glorious and grand, with the audience are encouraged to clap, laugh and sing along. Several children in the audience were happily enjoying the spectacle. The cast too were clearly having fun singing, dancing and telling this iconic tale.

Ari Arari is certainly a feast for the soul; it’s uplifting, magical and wonderous.


Ari Arari plays at the Adelaide Fringe as part of the Korean Season.
Performances run until the 18th March at the Arts Theatre in Angus Street. Tickets and more info HERE.