National Theater Company of KOREA

만선 Poster

Manseon: The Yearning of a Fisherman

03 Sep, 2021~ 19 Sep, 2021

  • Venue

    Myeongdong Theater 

  • Genre


  • Show Time

    Weekdays 7.30pm ㅣSat & Sun 3pmㅣNo performance on Tuesday

  • Tickets

    R 50,000KRW | S 35,000KRW | A 20,000KRW

  • Duration

    110 minutes. Subject to change.

  • Enquiry

  • Language Korean

    * English subtitles are provided on Thursdays and Sundays.


    Age Restriction Suitable for ages 14 and over

※ In line with the current social distancing measures (Level 2) enforced by the South Korean government in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, we leave seats between different groups empty.

- Bookings may be made for groups of up to 2 people for weekdays, 4 people for Sat & Sun.

- One seat on either side of each group will be left empty.


※ As per our preventive measures against Covid-19, all visitors will be required to fill out a mobile questionnaire and have their temperature checked before entering the theater. Please allow extra time for these quarantine procedures.


※ In the event of a confirmed case or a close contact of Covid-19, the production may be suspended or cancelled, and all tickets will be fully refunded without incurring cancellation fees. We will send out further instructions on how to proceed with the cancellation.


Out in the dark roaring sea, one boat loses its way.



A fisherman named Gomchi looks forward to making his fortune with a full load of white croakers. However, he becomes penniless when the ship’s owner charges him extortionate rates of interest on top of the rental fees. Faced with the danger of losing everything, Gomchi once again sets sail for the tumultuous sea hoping to return with a full load of fish. “That’s the life of a fisherman!”





Chon Seung Sei’s Manseon is both a heartrending record of those living off the sea at the furthest edges of the land and a landscape of the most intense and gruelling moments. As the vast sea contrasts with the vulnerability of life, the waves calm down unhurriedly; life continues thus. One of the most powerful works in the history of the National Theater Company of Korea, Manseon: The Yearning of a Fisherman has been adapted for today’s audience by Yun Mi-hyun, a playwright of keen contemporary sensibilities. Further complemented by Shim Jae-chan’s perceptive direction, the play returns with greater depth and energy, unfolding a story filled with both gravity and simplicity.




In a small village on Korea’s southern coast, fisherman Gomchi learns that the sea is full of white croakers and confidently sets sail. Eventually, he fulfils his long-lasting dream and returns with his boat full of fish. However, his joy does not last long as Lim Je-soon the ship’s owner, claims that Gomchi owes him money and takes everything away. To make matters worse, Mr. Lim refuses to lend him a boat until he pays off his debts. Worn out by poverty and anxiety, Gomchi’s wife tries to persuade him to quit fishing and start a new life. Yet, Gomchi departs for the sea once again with his son, vowing to catch another boatful of fish. 

Written by Chon Seung Sei

Chon Seung Sei made his literary debut in 1958 by winning the Dong-A Ilbo New Writer’s Contest with his short story “Jeomrye and the Ox.” In 1964, his play Catalyst won the Kyunghyang Daily New Writers’ Award. The same year saw him win the playwriting competition hosted by the National Theater Company of Korea. In addition, Manseon earned him the 1st Korean Theater and Film Arts Awards (now known as Baeksang Arts Awards). He is widely known for his concise and popular writing style, not to mention his use of symbolic yet elegant narrative structure, which allows him to address systematic problems of society.



Adapted by Yun Mi-hyun

Yun Mi-hyun received the 2018 Dong-A Theater Award for Best Play for My Aunt in Texas (co-produced by NTCK and Ansan Cultural Foundation), and the 2019 Bycksan Drama Award for A Wooden Vessel. Her works present realistic depictions of contemporary life. Yun uses vivid language to explore the dark underside of society and create her own style of realism whereby ordinary people embrace the rigor of life. Her adaptation of Manseon, one of Korea’s most celebrated works of realism drama, adds contemporaneous sensibilities to the astute evaluation of society in the original.



Directed by Shim Jae-chan

Shim Jae-chan conveys human nature through realistic onstage expressions and insightful interpretations of works. Following his introduction to the world of theater, he worked as an assistant director for a number of Korea’s first-generation directors including Lee Won-kyung, Cha Bumseok and Lim Young-woong. In 1991, he founded Theater Troupe Jeonmang, and began pursuing his own unique approach to theater. His directorial credits include several plays that delve into human psychology such as Assembly of Animals, For You Who Are Adrift, Thus Have I Heard, Onion, Goodnight Mother, Agarwood, Here Comes Love, and Ensemble, the musicals Tick, Tick... Boom! and Urinetown, and the traditional music drama Baettaragi. He was the Executive Director of the gala event on the eve of the match in Suwon during the 2002 Korea-Japan FIFA World Cup.