Nanta (show)

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TypeTheatre group
PurposeNon-verbal physical theatre

Nanta (Hangul난타; Hanja亂打, also known as Cookin or Cookin' Nanta) is a South Korean non-verbal comedy show created and produced by Song Seung-whan and incorporates traditional samul nori rhythm.[1] It premiered in October 1997 in Hoam Art Hall in Seoul.

A Nanta performance at the LG Life Tastes Good Championship, in Bangkok, 2009
Nanta performance at Jeju


Cookin' Nanta teddy bear display at the Teddy Bear Museum in N Seoul Tower, South Korea

The musical has a simple back story of three cooks attempting to finish preparing a wedding banquet within a strict time limit while the manager installs his incompetent nephew among the kitchen staff. The show involves acrobatics, magic tricks, comedy, pantomime and audience participation. The unifying element throughout the musical is the use of traditional Korean samul nori music, which in this case is performed with improvised instruments, such as cutting boards, water canisters and kitchen knives. The performance is almost completely non-verbal. The very few words which are spoken are mostly in English.[2][3]


Nanta is the longest-running show in Korean history. In Korea, it has two private theaters in Seoul(Myeong-dong, Hongdae), one on the island of Jeju, the other in Bangkok, Thailand. The musical made its international debut at the 1999 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it received an award for best performance. Since then it has been staged in 57 countries around the world. Nanta opened Off-Broadway in New York City in 2004[4][5] and ended its run in August 2005.[6] In March 2017, Hotel Nanta opened in Jeju island.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Unique Percussion Performance Nanta". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 December 1998. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  2. ^ Off Broadway show 'Nanta' faces unexpected obstacle, seeks breakthrough abroad (in Korean). Newsis. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  3. ^ "난타 [亂打, Nanta]" (in Korean). Naver Encyclopedia. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  4. ^ Perez, Irene C. (7 November 2015). "Oppa Nanta style!". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  5. ^ Off-Broadway's COOKIN' NANTA Now Playing in Manila. Broadway World. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Cookin' Tickets and Information". TheaterMania. Retrieved 8 October 2011.

External links[edit]