In Midnight Asia: Eat · Dance · Dream, Netflix takes viewers on a journey to explore the world after sunset and enjoy the unique nightlife in 6 cities that never sleep around Asia. For Bangkok, the docuseries introduces viewers to the people, places, businesses, and traditional Thai folk theatre like “Likay”, that come alive after the sun goes down.
Back in the day, nightlife did not have much variety and a Likay was one of the few choices of entertainment. Everywhere the Likay troupes went, they turned ordinary nights into small festivals with the whole community gathered before the stage. Then along came street food vendors and a perfect night out was now complete.
Likays are hard to find nowadays, but that doesn’t mean they are any less entertaining. This is especially true with a company that adapts to new trends like the “Two Princes Likay Troupe,” which Netflix proudly presents to the world in its Midnight Asia series.
Two Princes Likay Troupe, a.k.a. Likay Hero, is a young-blood Likay company founded by the Suthihirundamrong brothers, Thanetpipat and Kritsapol, who inherited this traditional art from their parents and grandparents. The troupe had a big breakthrough when they decided to apply styles from famous superheroes to their performances while maintaining the traditional Likay structure. Audiences at their shows now get to enjoy Spiderman, Batman, Captain America, and Thor performing in shimmering sequin suits with feathers on their heads.
Despite some disapproval of this westernizing of a traditional art form like Likay, the brothers still insist that this is their strategy to bring in a new generation of viewers and keep them interested in this traditional cultural entertainment. In doing so, they make the performances more accessible. Seeing the size of their audiences growing into the thousands, especially the younger demographic, is an excellent validation that they are on the right track.
“It’s like when you hear the sound of Ranat (traditional Thai xylophone), you recognize immediately that it is a Thai instrument. I expect the same from new-gen audiences that they can instantly tell that this is Thai Likay,” said the show leader.
Besides their unique superhero Likay dresses, “Two Princes Likay Troupe” also has another hook that keeps audiences coming back for more. The comedy show with modern jokes is a hit among younger viewers. Their performance is fast-paced and never dull. Everything has been revamped, such as blocking on stage like musicals. Combined with the extravagant light-and-sound show, it comes as a no-surprise that the troupe is booked out years in advance.