‘Molka’ at VAULT Festival review – Strange sequences on South Korean spycams


I genuinely don’t know what to say about Molka, the debut production from Taeyun Kim and Maja Laskowska, because so little of it makes sense under one overarching narrative. Key moments – including the play’s opening – are muttered with next to no projection in total darkness (at least the creative team are making the script available for accessibility purposes), and it presents itself instead as a series of repetitive scenes of dialogue which are abstract and annoying.

If it helps – which it probably does – Molka comes from the Korean abbreviation for ‘sneaky camera’, with the play clearly trying to comment on spy cams in South Korea (we only know that thanks to the duo holding up several placards with questions around privacy and human rights which the play itself doesn’t do much to answer). In between what can only be described – shamefully – as word vomits between the two, where streams of nonsensical words are thrown at each other, the pair take it in turns to turn over slabs dotted around the VAULT space. It’s not entirely clear what these pieces represent, and I was just left to assume it was a weird type of chess.

You can get something out of Molka if you think about this possibility, as it’s certainly physically demanding of the two actors (from strained postures to slapping themselves) who mirror each other perfectly, and that is to be commended. Is the slapping a nod to a fight for ownership of bodies in South Korea? Is the mirroring supposed to indicate the two characters are in fact one and the same? I didn’t have any answers coming out of the production.

Either way, the movement direction from Miia Mäkilä is indisputably dynamic, but little else from this play is.

Molka is now playing at VAULT Festival until 9 February.

Production Images: Maja Laskowska and Taeyun Kim/VAULT Festival.

Disclaimer: I was invited to watch ‘Molka’ for free in exchange for a review of the performance as a member of the press. I did not receive payment for this article and all opinions stated above are honest and my own.

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