HKRep Artistic Director Anthony Chan x filmmaker Roger Lee - "All Good Things"
Anthony Chan draws two decades of service at the HKRep to a close
Following A Simple Life, filmmaker Roger Lee
shares another personal story
All Good Things
【HKRep】The Main Stage of the HKRep 2022–23 season concludes with the final production helmed by Artistic Director Anthony Chan prior to his retirement. A moving story drawing on precious memories of noted filmmaker Roger Lee, this new play follows the success of his award-winning film A Simple Life, sharing personal recollections that touch people’s hearts. All Good Things chronicles the classic Orchid Garden Restaurant during the 1970s and 1980s, decades of vast changes that the cast of characters weathered as they helped each other, bringing out the best of human relationships. This play is co-written by HKRep Artistic Director Anthony Chan and Roger Lee, directed by Chan with Lee as production consultant. All Good Things features HKRep members Angus Chan, Ko Hon Man, Eddy Au Yeung, Chris Sun, Ng Ka Leung, Trickle Choi, Eva Mak and Luk Ka Ki, along with guest artist Pang Hang Ying. The play runs from 11th to 26th March at the Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre. Tickets are now available at URBTIX outlets.
All Good Things depicts the story of Orchid Garden Restaurant in 1970s an 1980s. The protagonist Roger studies business in the United States, yet he still dreams of creating the stage. Sometime in the 1970s while on summer vacation, he worked at his uncle’s Orchid Garden Restaurant, hoping to reenter the fresh orbit of Hong Kong life. He runs into many problems with his job, but these encounters teach him essential life lessons. His uncle’s business philosophy and generosity also give him hope, equipping the young man with determination to forge ahead through disappointing times. By the 1980s, Roger has completed his degree and returns, witnessing the city’s rapid transformation, but Orchid Garden cannot escape its fate. Roger’s career and dreams also suffer ups and downs, but his uncle continues to adhere to his principles.
Playwright and director Anthony Chan states: “All Good Things is an original script written by Roger Lee that I further adapt for the stage. The protagonist ‘Roger’ recounts his memories of Orchid Garden Restaurant, a traditional dining establishment once lauded by international magazines as the ‘Best Cantonese Cuisine’. The story begins in the golden age of the 1970s and records many twists and turns during the 1980s in the context of events that affected Hong Kongers. A fine tradition gradually fades with time, as older practices are overtaken by newer ones. Although the restaurant no longer stands, friendships and kindness live forever.”
Playwright and production consultant Roger Lee explains: “This semi-autobiographical script centres on my youthful years in relation to my uncle’s Orchid Garden Restaurant. It traces our growth and evolution and bears witness to the transformation in dining culture and people’s livelihood in the 1970s and 1980s.” The restaurant represents the spirit of a specific Hong Kong generation. “My uncle is typical of the older generation of business owners: he runs his restaurant with utter honesty and no cheap tricks, treating his staff like family.”
Artistic Director Anthony Chan joined the HKRep in the 1980s as the company’s first full-time stage manager. Later, in 2008, he returned as Artistic Director, serving the HKRep for a total of two decades. As a playwright and director, he created many works for the local theatre scene, several of which have captured the spirit of yesteryears and caught the public imagination, tugging at many heartstrings. All Good Things is the final play by Anthony Chan prior to his retirement from the HKRep. Following the success of A Bowlful of Kindness, he brings another local story to life celebrating the enduring Hong Kong spirit.
About Playwright & Director Anthony Chan
About Playwright & Production Consultant Roger Lee
An avid film buff from his school days in Hong Kong, Roger Lee moved with his family to the United States at age 19. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, he worked as a CPA tax accountant for Singer Company in both San Francisco and New York for seven years, and had fun shooting 8 mm experimental short films in his after-work hours.
His short film portfolio helped him land his first media job as an Assistant Director at Radio Television Hong Kong, where he directed two half-hour programmes for the Love Series in 1983. He returned to RTHK in 2013 as a freelancer to direct two half-hour episodes on the subject of retired live-in maids for the Golden Age documentary series.
Lee’s experience as producer and financial controller in the film industry included two collaborations with film director Ann Hui in Summer Snow (Best Actress Award for Josephine Siao at the Berlin Film Festival, 1995) and A Simple Life (Best Actress Award for Deanie Ip at the Venice Film Festival, 2011). A Simple Life was based on the true story of his housemaid Taojie, who worked for the Lee family for four generations over 60 years. His book Taojie and Me was published in March 2012.
He was playwright and production consultant for two Hong Kong Arts Festival programmes: The Amahs (2015) and Always By Your Side (2019).
About All Good Things