Lumination of the Forgotten | Reimagining the Hong Kong Drama Award-winning Insect Series | Reflecting the Livelihoods of Everyman in 1990s Hong Kong

Immediate Release

Reimagining the Hong Kong Drama Award-winning Insect Series 

Reflecting the Livelihoods of Everyman in 1990s Hong Kong

Lumination of the Forgotten

【HKRep】Do you still remember Hong Kong in the 1990s and such historical moments as the return to Chinese sovereignty and the financial crisis? That was when Hong Kong people, despite the high winds and breaking waves, quickly adapted and survived in crevices of time and tide. Hong Kong Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Poon Wai Sum deconstructs five plays constituting his Insect Series (dating from the 1990s to early 2000s), using Hong Kong-style slang and cadences to punctuate the normal and the absurd, portraying how common folks braved the storm, making their solitary journeys amidst the city’s narrow alleys and crowded streets. Written by Poon Wai Sum, with Bonni Chan as directors, starring Yu Hon Ting, Tunes Ting, Ng Ka Leung, Eddy Au Yeung, Kiki Cheung, Kalok Chan, Man Sui Hing, ManMan Kwok, Dee To, Trickle Choi, Angus Chan, Poon Tai Ming, Wong Hiu Yee, Eva Mak, Benny Leung in the cast, Lumination of the Forgotten runs from 18th May to 2nd June at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre. Tickets are now available at URBTIX outlets.
Lumination of the Forgotten depicts the 1990s as a fast-as-lightning centrifuge where lives collided in a tumultuous whirl — some sinking to the bottom, others staying afloat. A few clever insects clamber slowly along the ridge of time, trembling but courageous, gentle yet resilient, instilled with an honesty long forgotten. Theatre du Pif Co-Artistic Director Bonni Chan joins hands with HKRep Artistic Director Poon Wai Sum in remaking five Hong Kong Drama Award-winning plays comprising the Insect Series: The Cockroach that Flies like a Helicopter (Best Play), Cricket in My Life (Best Play, Top Ten Popular Productions), Spider in Meditation (Best Play, Top Ten Popular Productions), The Rising Ants (Top Ten Popular Productions) and To Kill or To Be Killed (Top Ten Popular Productions). They deconstruct and assemble the texts anew, remoulding these small yet vibrant “insects”, casting them as metaphors tracing the experience Hong Kong has weathered. After the reeling dies down, a “white lake” appears: she is tranquil and quiet, as distant as the past yet embedding eternity into our present.
Playwright Poon Wai Sum states, “The Insect Series was created in the 1990s and early 2000s, in part reflecting what common folks experienced in Hong Kong. One doesn’t look back after three decades merely for nostalgia’s sake; we search for shared contexts and mindsets, connecting with the past as we find the strength to face the present. For this production, our guest director suggested combining five plays into one, and I await the results with great expectations! Bonni Chan is a contemporary theatre artist whom I admire, her expert treatment of language and image highlights the intricate relationship between text and the stage. A completely new rendition of Lumination of the Forgotten will bear testament to life’s journey before the theatre audience.”
Director Bonni Chan shares the following: “The local stories and language in the text are filled with drama, imageries and analogies that touch the heart. I hope to portray both richness and intimacy therein, listening closely to the inner emotions of the actors through their realistic portraits and physical expressions in relation to the theatre stage. The fifteen characters in this production are like floral patterns that constantly transform themselves in a kaleidoscope. Every little shake leads to a new chapter, the arrival to a new location such as a tea shop, an inn, an old tenement building, a rooftop, or the high-pitched cry of a gorgeous qipao, or Dunhuang as it figures in the meditation of a spider.”
About Director  Bonni Chan 
Bonni Chan graduated from the Hong Kong Academy of Ballet and went on to study acting at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, winning the Best Actress of the Year award for three consecutive years. 
After graduating, she joined the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and performed in a number of productions. Then, she moved to London to study with various teachers, and founded Theatre du Pif with Sean Curran. Since returning to Hong Kong in 1995, she has continued to devise and direct all of Theatre du Pif’s original productions.
She won Best Actress at the Hong Kong Drama Awards for her roles in Fish Heads and Tales – A Tender War as well as The Oak Tree – An Odyssey. In 2015 she was again nominated for Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Hedda Gabler in Adrian Noble’s production of Ibsen’s classic play. In 2016, she received an honorary fellowship of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The Hong Kong Theatre Libre voted her Best Actress of the Year for her performance in 4.48 Psychosis – A Staged Reading. She also won IATC(HK) Critics Awards’ Performance of the Year, Director of the Year, Performer of the Year and Scenography of the Year for the same performance. In 2018, her work as the guest director on Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov for The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts was nominated for Best Director in IATC(HK) Critics Awards and The Hong Kong Theatre Libre Award.  
She is a professional Feldenkrais practitioner.
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