Hong Kong Repertory Theatre 40th Anniversary Season Opening Main Production
【Hong Kong Repertory Theatre】If life is merely a process, is getting through life quietly the only option? Hong Kong Repertory Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Season Opening Main Production Forever Silence, an exciting new work by Hong Kong artist Cheung Tat Ming. Forever Silence features Louisa So in the leading role of Elis, an erotic novelist, who makes a surprising decision while recovering from a major illness. If one can choose his or her own fate, can Elis’ decision change hers? Forever Silence is written and directed by Cheung Tat Ming, with Louisa So, Ko Hon Man, Leung Tin Chak and Jocelyn Choi in the main cast. The current production runs from 20th May to 4th June at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre, with tickets now available at URBTIX. Forever Silence is an accredited event celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
Forever Silence follows the story of Elis, a best-selling novelist (played by Louisa So) famous for riveting bodice-rippers, decides to join a nunnery. This move surprises her family, publisher, readers and even Buddhist masters. Since she has built her reputation on daring subjects that challenge conventional morals, her rescinding the material world is all the bewildering. Some support her, while others are in stern opposition, thus creating a controversy. Everyone is keen to discover the real reasons behind this decision. During the process, many details gradually surface –the difficult relationship between herself, her husband (played by Ko Hon Man) and her daughter (played by Jocelyn Choi), Elis’ complicated dynamics with her lover (played by Leung Tin Chak), her struggles as a creative artist to a secret concerning life and death.
Since collaborating with HKRep eight years ago in Beautiful Connection, Cheung Tat Ming returns to create and direct Forever Silence for HKRep. He explained that the Chinese title is derived from the phrase Shenxiao Chenshang. (which literally means “Rather Noisy and Dusty” while the Chinese title of this drama means “Not Noisy despite the Dust”). “This work has a very special position in my life. It is about how a creative practitioner makes life choices. This character’s family cares a lot about her, while her decision will mean that her family has to tackle the issues of legal liabilities. Ultimately, she has to work through a lot of emotional issues and real challenges,” he said.
Louisa So previously collaborated with HKRep in I Have a Date with Spring. She sees this as a valuable opportunity and looks forward to working with Cheung Tat Ming, who is a fellow alumnus of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She also looks forward to working with other performers in this season opening production for HKRep’s 40th anniversary. She will be on stage throughout the entire performance, a real challenge both in terms of artistry and sheer stamina.
Advanced booking for the productions in the 2017-18 season is now available (until 5 June 2017), offering up to 30% discount. Programme details available at www.hkrep.com/1718 Subscription programme enquiry: 3103 5900.
About Playwright and Director Cheung Tat Ming
Cheung Tat Ming was among the first cohort of graduates from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He studied under theatre veterans Chung King-fai and Fredric Mao, and joined Chung Ying Theatre as a full time actor upon graduation. He was a co-founder of performing group Sand & Bricks, for which he served as playwright, director as well as actor. In 1993, he travelled to New York for theatre exchanges, thanks to a scholarship from the Asian Cultural Council. The Legend of A Storyteller was translated into English and an excerpt was performed on stage in America.
In 1992, his work Far Way Home received the Best Director and Best Original Script awards by the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies (HKFDS), as well as the Best Creative Script award by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. In 1993, he was again awarded Best Creative Script by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council for Once Upon a Time… In 1996, his work The End of the Long River received the Best Original Script award at the Hong Kong Drama Awards. In 1997, he was named one of the ‘People of the Year’ by the HKFDS, in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contributions in theatre. In 2005, Cheung was once again awarded Best Director at the Hong Kong Drama Awards by the HKFDS for Rotate 270º.
In addition to his work as a theatre director and playwright, Cheung is also a dedicated performer and creative artist across a range of different media. He has starred in over 90 films, including Forbidden City Cop by Stephen Chow, Love and Sex among the Ruins, Big Bullet, and Once Upon a Time in Triad Society 2. His role in You Shoot, I Shoot was nominated for Best Male Lead at the Milano Film Festival. On TV, he played the title role of Justice Sung (First and Second Seasons), which topped the annual viewership when the drama series was aired. In 1995, he teamed up with Dayo Wong Chi-wah in a stand-up comedy show to great acclaims. He subsequently collaborated with Francis Ng Chun-yu to create the highly successful Free Man Show, in which Cheung’s outstanding “animalization” performance greatly impressed the audience. Consequently, he is considered a physical movement master. In 2000, Cheung Tat Ming starred in solo theatre performance Deliberately Inflammatory and, in collaboration with Sandra Ng, A Man & A Woman talk show was an exciting cross-over between talk show and theatre, in which he developed his own style of stand-up performances. In 2008, he became the first Hong Kong artist to have successfully performed a stand-up comedy show in the Mainland China with a unique show that transcends the two cultures of Hong Kong and the Mainland. He toured many cities across the Guangdong region as well as in Hong Kong. In 2011, he performed at the Hong Kong Coliseum with his new show Be A Bad Guy to a large audience of nearly 10,000.
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