How to be a (funny) fireman

The performers of Korean action comedy Fireman have to jump across buildings and perform acrobatic stunts

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

Photos: Theatre O Inc

Parkour, martial arts and acrobatic stunts will come together and be part of the upcoming action-comedy non-verbal show called Fireman, coming early December.

Fireman features eight different trainees who go through a series of harsh and rigorous training sessions in their journey to become a fireman. In the show, the “training” will include them jumping from one building to the other, in order to save lives.

“Parkour and various martial arts are real training in fire stations. In real life, dangerous fires, and accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, so they have to be prepared to save people’s lives by jumping over many kinds of obstacles, such as across buildings,” explained Korean producer Kim Min-Seob, 43.

Kim has had years of production experience on shows such as Jump, Break Out, Bibap, and Flying, which have played in Singapore before. In fact, Jump is the longest-running non-verbal comedy by him, with a history of 13 years since its debut in Korea.

And Kim hopes Fireman will receive the same reception.

The non-verbal show, brought to Singapore by Mediacorp Vizpro International, will be staging three shows here next month over two days.

To help the performers gain a realistic insight into the roles they play, Kim made them attend real fireman training sessions so they could immerse themselves in their characters. “The fireman actors have received training with real firefighters, so we can present realistic actions and performances,” Kim said.

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

Parkour, which is essential to building up the body’s strength and flexibility, is one discipline they have to train hard for, said Korean actor Shin Jung Hoon, 34.

“We have trained jumping from buildings which are 2.5m tall. Every training has a very important mission of safety, so all our actors practice a lot and physically work out (before attempting a sequence),” said Shin.

They even went to a firefighting school during the early part of the production, and learnt how to spray water with a fire hose, how to use the fire extinguisher, and how to do first aid and to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, he added. “We achieved the title of ‘honorary fireman’ from the mayor of Seoul after the training.”

Playing Charlie in the show, his character takes on the role of someone who is very protective of his team mates. He will be jumping from buildings and performing acrobatic stunts.

Another performer, Korean actress Hyeon Jeong Jin, 28, who plays Juliet, describes her character as “someone who believes that positive thoughts will make better energy for everybody”.

“She has a motivated and determined character. She’s always bubbly and happy, and she is often the spark in the Fireman team,” she added. Hyeon also hints at a romantic interest with someone from Fireman.

Unlike Shin, who only does parkour, Hyeon also specialises in dancing styles such as jazz, hiphop and pole dancing. “She (Juliet) shows her love — for her love interest — with fantastic dances on stage,” Hyeon explained.

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

The actors have been injured while performing. For Hyeon, during one of the scenes where she was lifted by another performer, she fell onto his shoulder heavily and as a result, got her ribs broken.

“It took about two months for my ribs to recover in the hospital. I was very frustrated with my mistake, and felt sorry to the other members of Fireman,” she said, adding that she tried to compensate for lost time by practicing by herself while watching videos of Fireman performances during her rehabilitation.

Still, after learning what it takes to be a fireman, Hyeon would like to “thank the real firefighters”, adding that the show “pays tribute to the brave firefighters who are always there helping in emergencies”.

“They are always around us — helping people and rescuing people’s lives. I am very proud of performing their real-life stories and want the audiences to feel respectful of them, too,” she said.

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

How to be a (funny) fireman
How to be a (funny) fireman
09 Nov 2016

How to be a (funny) fireman

Catch FIREMAN on December 10 at 2pm and 8pm; and December 11 at 2pm. Tickets priced at $78, $68, $58, $48 and $38 (restricted view) are available at SISTIC.

Related: 4 shows to check out at the new MES Theatre at Mediacorp

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