King Rama VI’s Promotion of Khon and Drama in General

Srisurang Poolthupya


King Rama VI of the Chakri dynasty had great interest in the Ramakien and dramas in general. He composed a few episodes of the Ramakien, many modern dramas, essays as well as translated or adapted Western and Indian plays to present to the Thai audience. His Ramakien kept closer to the original story of the Valmiki Ramayana. His promotion of Khon and dramas helped preserve the valuable Thai heritage. After his demise, the promotion was discontinued because of the government’s fi nancial problem. It was later revived. Queen Sirikit, through
the SUPPORT Foundation, has carried on the Khon promotion as can be seen in the ‘Khon Somdet’ at Thailand Cultural Centre.

Keywords: King Rama VI, Khon, drama