HKRep’s very first Artistic Director Dr. Daniel Yang returns
to direct Whose Wife is it Anyway?
Sex scandal meets political disaster in this
Laurence Olivier Award-winning Best Comedy
【Hong Kong Repertory Theatre】A political time bomb explodes thanks to an extra-marital affair gone haywire. Filled with sidesplitting hilarity, the 1991 Laurence Olivier Award-winning comedy Whose Wife it is Anyway? will surely take you on a laugh-filled rollercoaster ride. HKRep’s very first Artistic Director Dr. Daniel S. P. Yang returns for the first time since 1999 to direct this pacy and entertaining British farcical comedy classic. His production for Godot Theatre Company took Taiwan by storm, enjoying full houses and critical acclaim in Taipei, Taichung and Tainan last year. HKRep’s very first Artistic Director Dr. Daniel S. P. Yang returns for the first time since 1999 to direct his adaptation for Godot Theatre that took Taiwan by storm, enjoying full houses and critical acclaim in Taipei, Taichung and Tainan last year. Whose Wife is it Anyway? by Ray Cooney features Sun Wai Keung, Lau Shau Ching, Ko Hon Man, Wang Wei, Chan Kiu, Au Yeung Chun, Tan Hui Lei Karrie, Cheung Ngar Lai, Cheung Tsz Ki and Kwok Chui Yi. The production runs from 28th May to 12th June at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre. Tickets are currently on sale at URBTIX.
Whose Wife is it Anyway? is about a political figure constantly under public scrutiny has just made a classic mistake, by having an affair, except that it is with one of the other political party’s secretary! As his wife approaches the hotel where he meets his lover, he is about to be caught red-handed. His reaction? To cover up one lie with ten other lies. Things quickly go disastrously wrong and suddenly he is looking at a murder mystery. Is it even possible to still come out of the situation with his reputation untainted?
Director Daniel Yang explains the genesis of his translation and adaptation: “This play was running in Munich when I visited the city in 1995. I didn’t know about this work at all; I only knew it was penned by contemporary British playwright Ray Cooney. I didn’t even understand German, yet I thoroughly enjoyed the production, laughing from beginning to end. This is a very fine script, the twists and turns in the plot followed seamlessly. In fact, this play has been revived in London’s West End numerous times. When I adapted Whose Wife is it Anyway?, I changed and localised the details, taking into account politics of the day, so to create an even more effective staging.”
British playwright Ray Cooney is a master in situational, farcical comedies, using them as veiled criticism of British middle class attitudes on marriage and sex. He is particularly renowned for creating suspense and complex interrelationships. Whose Wife is it Anyway? is also known by the title Out of Order, a reference to the many scenes of confusion and disarray. A plethora of characters come and in out of the hotel suite, forcing our protagonists to make up all sorts of ridiculous excuses in the nick of time, piling lies upon lies to conceal the truth. Absurd scenes that catch everyone by surprise won the play Best Comedy at the Laurence Olivier Awards.
“This is a script worthy of its many accolades. There is never a dull moment. I laughed so hard.” Taiwan comic star Action Tang
“Sex and power, politics and murder, combined with a ruckus of a chain of events, engender incessant laughter.” Liberty Times
About Translator, Adaptor, Director Dr. Daniel S. P. Yang
Dr. Daniel S. P. Yang is a Professor Emeritus at the School of Theatre and Dance, University of Colorado at Boulder. For thirteen years, he was Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre. Between 1967 and 1990, Yang taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder, having served as Department Chair and Director of Theatre there. He also held the title for a decade of Producing Artistic Director at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. Yang has produced 40 Shakespeare plays in Chinese and English, having directed fifteen of them.
Yang has directed 70 plays, among them Chinese and Western classics and new works. More than half were performed in English in America, with almost 25 plays featuring stars and actors coming from England, America, Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China. He has an extensive list of publications, having written seven monographs, more than a hundred essays and articles in Chinese and English, new plays and Chinese translations of playscripts.
Yang was a board member of the American Theatre Association and Chairman of its Asian Theatre Programme, as well as a lifetime member of the International Shakespeare Conference (Stratford-upon-Avon) and was recently invited by the Royal Shakespeare Company as senior consultant. Yang is recipient of the Bronze Bauhinia Star Medal of the Hong Kong SAR government, Honorary Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Honorary Guest Professor at the Central Academy of Drama, Yao Yiwei Professor of Theatre Aesthetics at the National Taipei University of the Arts and Visiting Chair Professor and Distinguished Alumnus of the National Taiwan University. Born in China with ancestry traced to Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, Yang studied Peking and Kun Opera from a young age specialising in the male scholar character-type. An experienced performer, he was a student of Master Yu Zhenfei.
Yang received his Bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University in Foreign Languages and Literatures. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hawaii-Manoa (specialising in directing). He holds a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in theatre.
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