|My bloody shirt and stuff from the survival kit. Yes, I chose that specific shirt to be worn for the show.|
What will you do when you are a high school senior kidnapped during your field trip, put into a deserted area with 39 classmates and informed that you have only eight hours to kill each other until only one remains? Would you play the game?
Sipat Lawin Ensemble’s Battalia Royale is a loose adaptation of Koushun Takami’s novel (which was also adapted to film) Battle Royal. In this adaptation, the students from Our Lady of Guadalupe High School were kidnapped on their way to Mt. Pinatubo for a field trip. They are presented to a live audience. And in a few parts of the game, the audience had a chance to decide whether to stop the game or to save a kid’s life.
The play was not the usual sit-in-the-theater-while-the-actors-act-on-stage type. Battalia Royale is an experience. You run around trying to follow the stories of these individuals forced to play for their lives. There even is a part where the three scenes were performed simultaneously and the audience are asked to choose which adventure/story arc they would want to follow.
Battalia Royale is more than just entertainment. Sociopolitical issues are rooted in its core. A few may bask in the bloody scenes but the play tells more than just the story of the students trapped to kill each other. For me, I can see in this play how desensitize most people have been on violence up to the point that they would allow a kid to die just for their pleasure, or how they want the program to continue and let the students kill each other.
November 14 marked the last show for Battalia which was now labelled as Battalia Zero signalling the shows return to where it was first shown, in the CCP promenade. Apart from the first run in CCP, they showcased Battalia in an abandoned school in Cubao and in Museong Pambata.
The journey of the students of Our Lady of Guadalupe High School ended as they put in two black boxes parts of their adventure. But the discussion will continue. The talks will keep the memories of those who perished in the slaughter alive.
to be part of the discussion visit: Battalia Royale Interactive