When in Manila, you sure want to join the cast and production staff of Battalia Royale in their out-of-ordinary field trip and it will surely give you a rush you’ve never expected to experience by watching a theater act.
How cool is the logo of Battalia Royale v.3.0?
I am a self-confessed theater geek! That’s why I don’t question myself why I watched all version of Sipat Lawin Ensemble‘s BATTALIA ROYALE. I’m just amazed by how they adapted the classic novel written by Koushun Takami, Battle Royale, and the movie of the same name. The epicness is beyond norm, in a positive way!
The school’s logo is designed by Leeroy New.
The story goes around the 40 senior students of Our Lady of Guadalupe High School who are supposed to have their school excursion at Mount Pinatubo. But, instead of getting amazed by the beauty of nature, they get the shock of their life! They woke up after being sedated by their teacher, Fraser Salomon (Bodjie Pascua/Gabe Mercado), into a game called Battalia Royale. The rule is simple as solving math problems: “kill or be killed”. After being explained of their current situation, the killing extravaganza commenced!
And the school’s not-so-ordinary class picture taken by Pepe and the Polygons.
The thing is you have to kill someone with the weapon given to you. Some of the weapons are just plain useless. Along the way, they formed alliance. There were the famous Kiriyama’s” and the all-girls occupants of the “Lighthouse”. But the act that showed promising performance is the two “Nemeses,” Victor Vicente and Kakai Bantagan.
BEHIND THE SCENES
For this staging of Battalia Royale, dubbed version 3.0, director JK Anicoche envisions it to have a more dangerous feel for players and audience alike. No cellphones or cameras allowed this time around, to give it a more underground feel. Leave all comfort at the gate, as this is one performance that you will have to run, walk, maybe even battle to see.
Battalia Royale’s director and Sipat Lawin Ensemble’s artistic director, JK Anicoche, the headmaster!
“Sipat Lawin Ensemble aims to create works that are relevant to the times. ‘We don’t make plays. We create experiences.’, we declare; this way we get to engage more audiences and we make our works more accessible to people,” he explained.
Kevin Vitug plays as Sebastian Kiriyama.
I get the chance to interview, well through email, one of the famous characters in this Sipat Lawin Ensemble’s show, Sebastian Kiriyama essayed by Kevin Vitug, who is famous for his YouTube videos paying as a conyo teenage boy.”I was auditioning for Cinemalaya then and one of their PR person saw me and wanted to invite me to do an audition/read-through for their next project which was Battalia Royale. … JK, the director, asked me several questions regarding my character afterwards and he said if I answered differently, I wouldn’t have gotten the role,” he said.
Battalia Royale’s most famous character Kakai.
Kevin added that he “wanted to collaborate with new people in a different medium… I’ve always wanted to do theater and God gave me the opportunity to be in this sick, intense and bloody live interaction game.”
Lastly he said,”Most times, I just claim, I really am him. It was an awesome challenge. Also, he has so much angst that sometimes I try to annoy myself with real life problems and try to remember it as if it were Basti’s and that really helps me a lot in many scenes, too.”
What’s next for the show?
While this might not be the end for Battalia Royale, as they were just invited to stage a “one-night-only” show for the upcoming 4th National Theater Festival which will be held on November. The performance will be dubbed as “Battalia ZERO” and will be at the CCP Promenade, the venue where it all started. There are still no specific information regarding the date, but we’ll let you know as soon as the info will be available.
“Battalia [Royale] is a work of a lot of people, a gahering of generous and creative souls joining together to bring about a cause, a production, a happening,” says Anicoche. You might be surprised that the show is heavily relying on ticket sales, because they don’t have fixed budget. But they are motivated to do their best just to answer the questions: “What does it take to be human? How does one live in a society where you get to choose between evil and lesser evil? Those questions, fueled by the spirit of everybody in the production and by the audiences, kept us going. “
That’s why you shouldn’t miss their last weekend performance! Tickets are selling like hot pancakes in the evening, oh wait, in the morning! If you loved blood, blood, and more blood! Watch Battalia Royale at the Museong Pambata (just near Luneta Park). Access badge are available at Php450 only! Oh and be ready to get wet and be splattered with faux blood!Topping that is the amazing performances of the cast, well I have a favorite one, Kakai! I also love how Victor, Basti and the girls of the Kiriyama group acts. Amazeballs!
Show director JK Anicoche said it best on why you should catch the show’s last weekend! He said, “In Battalia Royale, the audience members are not passive spectators, they often take charge, they choose [their] own adventure, they start owning the story, they bet, fight, debate, cheer, laugh, think,[and] feel.”
WhenInManila.com Founder Vince Golangco (left) with friends holding up their battle cards at the beginning of the night.
You may buy student cards and can pick one as your bet or “manok.” If they survive you get a prize at the end of the play.
For more information about how to get your access badge, visit this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sle.tickeroyale
PROMO UPDATE: Buy 1 Closing Show ticket of PETA’s BONA (Sept. 30, 8PM) and GET 1 FREE Access to Battalia Royale’s 7PM show on SEPT. 28 (FRIDAY) at the Museong Pambata! 1 ticket to support 2 must-see productions. Contact Alon at 09175064517 for details!
Battalia Royale v.3.0
Where: Museo Pambata at 7pm.
Facebook: Battalia Royale
Battalia Royale: Not your ordinary Field Trip