Making a song and dance for breakfast: A Mon cabaret rolls into town
By 7.00 am the sun was up and the market in the sleepy town of Thong Pha Phum was in full swing. I pulled up a stool at a nearby coffee shop and settled down to watch the day.
After a few minutes there was a great banging of drums, shouts and blowing of bamboo flutes. A pick-up went by and hurtled off into the market square. I finished my coffee and followed. An impromptu cabaret performance featuring song, dance, clowns and an ageing ladyboy was in full swing by the time I arrived and a good many people had stopped what they were doing to join in the fun.
These particular performers were ethnic Mon, they performed for about 15 minutes, collected tips and moved on. Similar troupes were once common performing at village and town fairs and social occasions all over rural Thailand. These days they are an endangered species and I felt lucky to have caught the show.