We chose this season’s theme—“Long live the Classics!”—for two reasons: to revisit works that have stood the test of time in order to extend their appeal to audiences today; and to create new works on the home front in hopes of developing tomorrow’s classics.
Among our time-honoured classics, we present Stan Lai’s iconic A Dream Like a Dream this season. In 2002, the HKRep was the first professional theatre company to bring this work onto the stage. Now 17 years later, we are fortunate to make use of the soonto-open West Kowloon Cultural District Freespace to mount this large-scale revival. All the more unique is the monthlong run of A Dream Like a Dream, a phenomenon unheard of in Hong Kong because of our city’s shortage of venues. We look forward to this new venture, in a new space.
The Cantonese musical The Good Person of Szechwan has long been celebrated i n Hong Kong as a contemporary masterpiece. The HKRep and Actors’ Family join hands not just to revive but also to refine a new production adapted from Bertolt Brecht’s classic. Apart from presenting The Good Person of Szechwan in Hong Kong, funding from the Home Affairs Bureau’s “The
Best HK Original Musicals’ China Adventure” enables us to introduce this excellent musical to the larger Chinese language
market this year.
Another season highlight is a co-production with the West Kowloon Cultural District: a Cantonese musical The Great Pretender. Following American and European production process, our creative team collaborates over a long workshop period. Previews are scheduled for this season to allow time to digest comments received, refining our efforts in preparation for the official premiere of The Great Pretender next season.
Last season, we successfully transferred two Black Box productions—Principle and An Unjust Good Fellow— onto our Main Stage. Not only were they viable vehicles to nurture new talents, but they also ushered in new classics that are intrinsically Hong Kong. A fine new play by Chan Siu Tung, Invisible Men, graces our Main Stage this season. Doubling our efforts in supporting new playwrights, we have programmed two new works in our Black Box: Callas Cheang’s The Unforgettable Chapter and Lee Wai Lok’s The Ward, the latter developed out of our Open Platform series. Newly translated plays continue to feature in our season: the Cantonese version of Speaking in Tongues is the first-ever Australian play presented on the HKRep’s Main Stage, directed by yours truly.
Apart from creating great theatre and cultivating collaborations, cultural exchange is one of the HKRep’s principal missions. This season, our Assistant Artistic Director Fung Wai Hang and veteran actress Mercy Wong take part in productions in China. The Big Meal, translated into Cantonese and directed by me, returns to the stage in Hong Kong, appearing also in the “Festival Hong Kong 2019 – A Cultural Extravaganza@Shanghai” and “Hong Kong Culture Week” of the 21st China Shanghai International Arts Festival. Le Père, which received much acclaim in its premiere production, makes a comeback this season after a Macau tour, another testament that our fine work has reached beyond Hong Kong’s geographical boundaries.
Last but not least, I must pay tribute to Chan Kin Bun, who had served as HKRep’s Executive Director for decades. I look forward to working closely with our new Executive Director Marble Leung as we open a new chapter in the story that is HKRep.