The Doctor - a breakthrough contemporary drama

Immediate Release

Dawn of the “Post-Truth” era:
A tussle between medical ethics and religious faith
Britain’s breakthrough contemporary drama debuts in Hong Kong
The Doctor

【HKRep】What is the value of “truth”? Is there a universal truth? A medical incident triggers contentions between medical ethics and religious faith. Heated debates on gender, race, class and identity sparked; maelstroms of difficult emotions harboured - will it all come out in the wash? The play dissects the furtive surface of our murky world, throwing down the gauntlet in search of truth for both cast and audience alike. The Doctor is a breakthrough contemporary drama that Robert Icke adapted from Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler’s Professor Bernhardi of 1912, and was nominated as Best New Play at the Olivier Awards in 2020. Playing Ruth the doctor is former Assistant Artistic Director Fung Wai Hang, joined by outstanding HKRep company members as they delve into the “post-truth” era. With the online information blitz under attack by media pundits, opinions outflank facts and algorithms dictate the winds of change, rocking the very foundation of science, religion and civilisation. Translated by Chris Shum, with Octavian Chan and Fung Wai Hang as co-directors, starring Fung Wai Hang and featuring Chris Sun (▲)/ Man Sui Hing (※), Ng Ka Leung (▲)/ Mercy Wong (※), Yu Hon Ting, Karrie Tan, ManMan Kwok, Chan Kiu, Kalok Chan, Kiki Cheung, Wong Hiu Yee, Caroline Chan in the cast, The Doctor runs from 16th March to 1st April at the Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre. Tickets are now available at URBTIX outlets.

The Doctor: A teenager is at death’s door after her botched abortion, and a priest hopes to perform the last rites. Yet Ruth, the doctor in charge, refuses this request out of medical concerns. The incident goes viral and becomes a hot topic on social media, with many clamouring for the hospital to make an official response. Shouldering the weight of her own career as well as the future of the hospital, Ruth is under attack. At the same time, she faces tremendous pressure that is in her private life…
Co-director and lead actress Fung Wai Hang reveals, “A distinguishing feature of this play is that the cast have to keep distance with the role they take - it could be dissimilitude on gender, race or religion. Two pairs of cast members will be interpreting two roles, in hopes of opening a creative inquiry on “identity” for the audience.
Personally, the playwright mercilessly brought forward certain present-day social issues that we’re compelled to ponder: Should the neutrality of medical science and ethics supersede all other considerations? Are the high-powered entitled to manipulate the matter of life and death? What kind of life do we lead in the deranging digital age? What befalls if religion and faith crumbled? Is the human race signing its own death warrant?  
I haven’t got a clue for those questions, nor do I believe the playwright does; let’s pin our hope on the smart audience!”
About Co-director and lead actress  Fung Wai Hang
A fine talent in stage art, Fung Wai Hang is not only an actress but also a director, playwright and programme curator. A graduate of the inaugural class of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts’ School of Drama, she later obtained an MFA in Theatre Practice at the University of Exeter. Having served at HKRep for 34 years, Fung rose in the ranks, taking such positions as Principal Actress, Resident Director, and Assistant Artistic Director at HKRep.
Fung has participated in more than 100 productions. She has been nominated numerous times for the Hong Kong Drama Awards, having won eight to date: two for Best Actress (Comedy/Farce) in 1995 and 1996; three for Best Supporting Actress (Tragedy/Drama) in 1993, 2002 and 2015; three for Best Director for Red (2013), Attempts on her Life (2015) and Le Père (The Father) (2018). In 2005, her outstanding performance in the original musical Sweet & Sour Hong Kong made her the first Hong Kong stage professional to be honoured at the 15th Shanghai Magnolia Stage Award, as Best Supporting Actress. Fung was also a recipient of the Secretary for Home Affairs’ Commendation Scheme in 2005 and the Artist of the Year (Drama) for the 2018 Hong Kong Arts Development Awards. She was nominated Best Director (Tragedy/Drama) for A Dream Like a Dream in 2020 and Best Director (Comedy/Farce)  for A Winter Funeral in 2022.
Productions Fung has directed include Rabbit Hole, The Cell, Red, Attempts on her Life, The Sin Family, The Abandoned Harbour, Le Père (The Father), Ladies, Bon Voyagea Cabaret, Pride and A Winter Funeral (co-directed with Weigo Lee). She recently co-directed HKRep production of A Dream Like a Dream with acclaimed theatre director Stan Lai and directed Moon Story at Shanghai, a project co-produced by HKRep and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. In 1996, Fung was awarded an Asian Cultural Council scholarship to study drama in the United States. On that occasion, she produced Red Luna at New York’s LaMaMa Experimental Theatre Club. She graduated with distinction on her MFA studies in England (2008–2010), and was awarded Dean’s Commendation for outstanding achievement.
Fung has dedicated herself on developing HKRep Black Box Theatre as a platform to nurture local talents as well as to explore new forms and presentations, including multi-media productions. During these ten year, she has curated almost forty productions. Apart from organising the International Black Box Festival and workshops, she has helped foster cultural exchange among Hong Kong, China, and the rest of the world, benefitting not only audiences but also young theatre practitioners.
About Co-director  Octavian Chan 
Graduated in physics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and later from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Octavian Chan earned first class honours in his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours), majoring in Directing. In 2009, he received the Award for Young Artist (Drama) at the Hong Kong Arts Development Awards. His collaborative directing and scripting work in Three Men and a Lady secured him a nomination for Best Play at the 3rd Hong Kong Theatre Libre; he was also nominated as Best Director with So Long, Fare well! HK and Best Stage Design with Sand, You and Me at the 5th Hong Kong Theatre Libre. He was shortlisted for the nomination for Best Lighting Design at the 29th Hong Kong Drama Awards with The Best Day In My Life by Windmill Grass Theatre. 
Octavian’s recent directing works include: theatre play Feel 100%, Next to Normal by Hong Kong 3 Arts Musical Institute; One Last Gift by Emperor Entertainment Group; Ashes, The Unforgettable Chapter, Three Impaired Monkeys, A Unjust Good Fellow and The Professor by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre; 4000 Miles (premiere and re-run) by Drama Gallery x Love Production, Boy Gets Girl and Almost, Maine by John Cariani Windmill Grass Theatre; Fill and Empty The Seasonings Jar.
His works on lighting design includes: Something or Nothing by Theatre Formula; Goldfish of Berlin by Reframe Theatre x Felixism Creation; Romantic Cabaret in the City by Young Friends of the Hong Kong Arts Festival; Everybody, Pick it up by 4bugssss; Untitled by Three As One Theatre; Legend of the Hungry Man by Take It Easy Theatre; What about Art in Hong Kong? and A Hongkonger’s Political Journey: Long Hair by Pants Theatre Production; War of Tung Choi Guys by Windmill Grass Theatre; The Great Learning, Doctrine of Happiness and Chinese Lesson by Hong Kong Arts Festival; Beyond the Corner and All Good Things by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre; The Monsters by Black Box Festival Artocrite Theater. 
He is now a freelance theatre director and lighting designer. 
About The Doctor
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