Jackie Chan


PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 July, 2006, 12:00am


Yegam Inc

Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall

Reviewed: July 20

Anyone watching Korean actor Jeon Joo-woo in action could be forgiven for thinking they were seeing a young Jackie Chan. With his looks and agility, Jeon could easily pass as Chan's double. So it's apt that he should be playing a character from Drunken Master - a role Chan made famous - in this action-packed, non-verbal comedy Jump.

Staged by South Korea's Yegam Inc, the production won rave reviews in London and at last year's Edinburgh Fringe, where the troupe is set to return next month.

Created by Choi Chul-ki, who also came up with Cookin', and directed by Lee Jun-sang with artistic direction from Paek Won-kil, Jump revolves around a family of kung fu experts. Jung Ui-hyuk plays the zany grandfather who trains his clan in various martial arts disciplines: the father (Han Jin) and mother (Kang Sun-mi) are both taekwondo experts; their daughter (Kim Young-gee), who leaps and bounces like a gymnast champion, also fights tough; Jeon (below, centre) plays the soju-loving uncle; and the daughter's suitor (Lee Jeong-soo) looks like Bruce Lee and K-pop idol Rain rolled into one.

The fun really begins when a couple of hapless burglars (Lee Lee-yong and Kim Min-ho) break into the house.

Jump is an enjoyable mixture of slapstick comedy with Korean and Chinese martial arts, acro- batics and dance. All the cast are technically superb. Much thought has also gone into the props, stage set, lighting and music, all of which helped create a comic book-like atmosphere.

Although Hong Kong audiences are used to seeing acrobats leaping and somersaulting on stage, Jump's clever execution of ideas makes it special. The cinematic, Matrix- like fight scene finale was both memorable and hilarious.