Stage version of Ong Bak coming to Bangkok

A stage version of the popular Thai film Ong Bak will be coming to the  new shopping mall Show DC from Friday onwards.

Stage version of Ong Bak coming to Bangkok. Photo courtesy of Ultratiger

Ong Bak Live looks set to be an action-packed show featuring stuntwork and visual effects. Building upon the 2003 film’s legacy in Thailand and abroad, the live version will be a fixture at Ultra Arena, on the sixth floor of Show DC, a new shopping complex in Huai Khwang geared towards tourists.

Executive producer Vinij Lertratanachai said that the film struck a chord with foreign movie watchers after it was released 14 years ago and has remained one of the symbols of Thai culture and beliefs.

“When I visited Portugal in 2004, I recalled seeing posters for Ong Bak along the subway station,” said Vinij. “I immediately called the film’s director to tell him that a Thai movie has finally made it here.”

For the live version, Vinij has enlisted the help of the original movie’s director, Prachya Pinkaew, as well as highly-established production director Takonkiet Virawan, to oversee production and stage theatrics.

Similar to the film, Ong Bak Live follows the story of Boonting (played by Tony Jaa in the film), a young man on a quest to bring back the bust of his village’s sacred Buddha statue after it was stolen by looters. Boonting’s journey eventually takes him to Bangkok, where he runs into a barrage of obstacles, each trying to keep him away from restoring honour to his people.

Ultra Arena, the venue for the show, has been specifically constructed for Ong Bak Live. Vinij notes the theatre spans 4,800m² with a total of 1,143 seats.

“It’s a live show, with no takes, cuts, or edits. I want everyone to feel the action at the exact same time,” he said. “That’s why we had to build this arena, to finally turn Ong Bak into Ong Bak Live.”

Tickets to see Ong Bak Live are bookable now at Thai Ticket Major, and seat prices are 1,500, 2,000 and 2,500 baht per show.

The first official show is scheduled for Friday, with performances to be shown twice per day.