Hong Kong Repertory Theatre 2018-19 Season
New Season Presents A Treasure Trove of Dramas
Advanced Booking of Season Tickets from 15 Mar with up to 30% Discount
[Hong Kong Repertory Theatre] The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre unveiled an exciting lineup of its 2018-19 season on 14th March, with 16 productions comprising “A Treasure Trove of Dramas”, transforming them into a soft power that connects different cities. Through various forms of theatrical exchange, the HKRep continues to excel in creative and production values as it charts even higher pinnacles on the world stage.
Artistic Director Anthony Chan explains, “A decade has passed since I took the reins as the Artistic Director of the HKRep. This season we shine a light on ‘Trends in global drama’, bringing great productions to theatre fans in different locations in Hong Kong and many cities abroad. It is my firm belief that as long as there is good drama, the power of theatre can cross all sorts of boundaries, connecting people regardless of physical distance.”
Main Stage Productions
The Big Meal – Award-winning Off-Broadway play – 54 meals that take you on the multiple flavours of life
The Big Meal recounts many restaurant meals spanning five generations of a single family, as scenes follow each other in tight succession, chronicling the many flavours of family relationships—from sweet to bitter, sour to spicy. Written by Dan LeFranc, formerly Visiting Lecturer running the Yale School of Drama’s MFA Playwriting Workshop, The Big Meal was lauded as Best Play of the Year by the Chicago Tribune before receiving its Off-Broadway premiere in 2012. This work, directed by Anthony Chan, features eight actors playing 26 characters, taking the audience on an exhilarating journey of 54 meals portraying one family’s moveable feast of love and life. (12th May to 27th May 2018, Hong Kong City Hall Theatre)
The Big Meal’s title sponsor is Wing Lung Bank and sponsored by Chow Sang Sang
Die Firma dankt – A contemporary German play garnering critical acclaim in Europe, China, Taiwan soon to land in Hong Kong
As with the reality of mergers and acquisitions, a company undergoes personnel changes with the arrival of a new director. Watching this unfold is a long-time manager, witnessing the dismissal of colleagues and wondering about his own future. This contemporary German play delves into office politics as traditional enterprises adjust to the new economy, engendering conflict between the old and new generations, with the old guard protecting its own terrain. Lutz Hübner’s Die Firma dankt is directed by Weigo Lee. The work has already won acclaim in Taipei and Beijing; it has also been well-received at a HKRep Reader’s Theatre. (6th July to 22nd July 2018, Hong Kong City Hall Theatre)
Hu Xueyan, my Dear – The legendary life of a merchant of the late Qing dynasty and his remarkable tactics in beleaguered power struggles
Hu Xueyan experienced ups and downs in his life, having transforming himself from a penniless lad to the nation’s top merchant powerful to rival the Qing court. Paul Poon’s Hu Xueyan, my Dear won Best Script at the Hong Kong Drama Awards and the 2016 world premiere directed by Roy Szeto also received accolades for Best Overall Performance, Best Actor (Tragedy/Drama), Best Lighting Design, Best Music, and the year’s Outstanding Productions. At the 2017 Shanghai Jing’an Modern Drama Valley One Drama Awards, Paul Poon and Roy Szeto were crowned Best Playwright and Best Director respectively for their creative genius in Hu Xueyan, my Dear. For this revival, a new cast and a revised production will wow the Hong Kong audience as Hu Xueyan’s life unfolds again. (After the Shouson Theatre performances, Hu Xueyan, my Dear will embark on a mainland China tour, visiting the Guangzhou Opera House, Shenzhen Nanshan Wenti Center, Shanghai’s Theatre Above and Beijing’s Tianqiao Performing Arts Center.) (4th August to 19th August 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre)
Hu Xueyan, my Dear’s title sponsor is China Everbright Limited.
The Gin Game – A deck of cards and a battle of words
Two elderly residents—neither with friends or family—pass the time playing gin rummy in a seedy nursing home, their 14 games revealing the cold indifference of society. The Gin Game won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1978. From 2004 onward, the HKRep presented this drama locally and all over China with a total of 65 performances to date. This 2018 production features Au Ga Man and veteran HKRep company members Chow Chi Fai , directed anew by Weigo Lee. (31st August to 16th September 2018, Hong Kong City Hall Theatre)
Principle – An intellectual journey in quest of the meaning of education
Soon after she started her job, a new principal establishes a host of new rules. Her vigorous approach upsets the vice principal, teachers and students as gossip swirls that the new principal and the vice principal are at loggerheads. Later, an upsetting rumour rears its ugly head: the vice principal, having served for almost three decades, will be transferred. A campus crisis is about to explode. When Principle premiered at the HKRep Black Box Theatre in 2017, all 14 shows were sold out. For this season, playwright Ivan Kwok continues to refine his script with Fong Chun Kit retooling the production and directing a new cast, as the audience embarks again on a journey pondering the true meaning of education and justice. (9th November to 25th November 2018, Hong Kong City Hall Theatre)
An Unjust Good Fellow – A heartless accusation follows an act of loving care – A tragic story is revealed as a case unfolds
A pastor returns to his hometown where he reunites with his childhood friend. A hunchback granny ekes out a living by scavenging while taking care of her bedridden husband. An apparent assault connects these four people. Can our society, which emphasises justice and honesty, also embrace mercy and forgiveness despite cruel reality eating at our kind hearts? An Unjust Good Fellow, whose premiere appeared in our Open Platform series in 2017, received rave reviews resulting in sold-out houses. For this revival, Octavian Chan directs on our Main Stage, where audiences face the quandary of balancing justice and mercy. (21st December to 30th December 2018, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Studio Theatre)
La Cage aux Folles – Tony Award-winning Best Musical filled with hysterical and biting satire, disarming prejudices against alternative lifestyles
Albin and his lover George run a nightclub renowned for its cross-dressing cabaret. The lovers live happily with George’s son Jean until the young man brings his fiancée and her traditional parents for dinner. In order to appease the visitors, Albin dresses as the “good wife,” resulting in scene after scene of hilarity. At its Broadway premiere, La Cage aux Folles won six Tony Awards for its lighthearted and entertaining tale boldly addressing such taboos as cross-dressing and same-sex marriage. Subsequent Broadway revivals of La Cage aux Folles—in 2005 and 2010—also won Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical, and a film adaptation won three Oscar nominations, raising the story’s profile in the public discourse. This production is translated and directed by HKRep Artistic Director Anthony Chan. (19th January to 27th January 2019, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre)
La Cage aux Folles’s title sponsor is Shun Hing Group.
Marriage – Every woman’s wish for the next stop of her life: Happiness
The Hanada family of five—mother and four daughters—leads a peaceful and content existence. One day, in a drunken state, the eldest daughter Akiko divulges a long-kept secret. From then on, the topic of “marriage” stirs up a huge storm in the quiet family. The five women choose their own paths: some are hesitant with love while others forge ahead without fear. Every woman’s pursuit of happiness involves complex layers of matters of the heart. The playwright of Marriage, Hashida Sugako, has received numerous accolades for such masterpieces as Oshin, Wataru Seken wa oni Bakari and Akai Giwaku, all of which have moved countless audiences. The 2015 premiere of the HKRep production of Marriage received 11 nominations at the Hong Kong Drama Awards, winning in such categories as Best Actress (Tragedy/Drama), Best Set Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Top Ten Popular Productions. This moving tale of the pursuit of happiness is again directed by Fong Chun Kit. (After the Yuen Long Theatre performances, Marriage will embark on a mainland China tour at Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.) (7th March to 10th March 2019, Yuen Long Theatre Auditorium)
Pride – Arrogance and inferiority are mutually exclusive yet they co-exit
Emerging playwright Wang Haoran, following his controversial Blast (2013 Hong Kong Arts Festival) and Red Chamber in the Concrete Forest (2014 Hong Kong Arts Festival), creates yet another work challenging our very thresholds. Jason and Tanya have fallen in love, yet cannot move forward together. Jason’s life is at a stalemate: his feet cannot touch ground, his body afloat and directionless. Whether in love or friendship, society or politics, he cannot free himself from his own arrogance. Pride, nurtured and developed in HKRep’s own Playwright’s Lab, is directed by HKREP Assistant Artistic Director Fung Wai Hang. (16th March to 31st March 2019, Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre)
Black Box Productions
While the staff in a company remains dutifully intent on self-protection, a shady transaction goes on behind the scenes. One day, the new janitor is embroiled in a tug-of-war between two members of staff, leading to a scuffle between junior and senior levels, reality and ideals, public and private. Is “keeping your eye on the big picture” the road to survival, or a ploy to entrap our imagination? The Office is written by Poe Wong and directed by Yau Ting Fai. (18th May to 2nd June 2018)
The Open Platform: Three Impaired Monkeys
An elderly father and his two sons share a small flat. The father’s consciousness traverses past and present. He often re-enacts a family incident of which no one is aware, leading the sons to understand their father’s devotion, and in turn, re-examining their own estranged relations. Families are a tapestry interwoven with thousands of strands of love and hate. The more people choose “not to see, not to hear and not to speak,” the veil of darkness becomes all the more apparent. Three Impaired Monkeys is written by Lai Yiu Ming and directed by Octavian Chan. (8th June to 18th June 2018)
The Open Platform: Castle of Glass
Six amnesiacs are trapped in an unknown space. As if under a curse, they repeat their stories about the Fall of Hong Kong in 1941. An underground boss, a British officer, a Canadian soldier, a Japanese lieutenant, a young Chinese soldier and an old merchant step closer and closer to their destiny as they try to discover a hidden secret. Castle of Glass, a new drama written by Marcus Au and directed by Tony Wong, is a fable, perhaps also a prophecy. (23rd November to 2nd December 2018)
Hong Kong International Black Box Festival – Becoming Real (Co-presented by HKRep & West Kowloon Cultural District)
New Youth Group (Beijing) – One Fine Day
Beijing-based director Li Jianjun uses elements of everyday life to create his alternative theatrical experiences. Rather than using professionally trained, well-rehearsed actors, he has 19 normal urban dwellers each describing “one fine day” while the audience equipped with personal headphones can choose which story to listen to at any given time. Everyone holds a key to open the secret chambers in each of their hearts, finding empathy in the process. One Fine Day has already touched the hearts of audiences in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Those who took part were inspired to ponder such issues as personal relationships and how people relate to society. An open call for participants will be organised for the Hong Kong premiere of One Fine Day. We aim to discover people and events that are quintessentially Hong Kong. (11th October to 14th October 2018)
Motus (Italy) – MDLSX
Italy’s Premio Ubu-winner Silvia Calderoni performs her solo show MDLSX, employing her physicality, combining with music and video, to challenge the audience in exploring the human body at its most natural state and imagine beyond the boundary of gender. Filled with expressive movement and poetic text, with music played by a live DJ, this 80-minute monologue takes our breath away. MDLSX has toured around the world. Tickets for its 2016 Taipei Arts Festival presentation sold out at record speed. (17th October to 21st October 2018)
Post/ HKRep (Australia / Hong Kong) – Oedipus Schmoedipus
Two Australian artists—Zoë Coombs Marr and Mish Grigor—resurrect classic drama in Oedipus Schmoedipus, spinning lines, plots and symbolism drawn from masterworks dealing with the subject of death into a brand-new, fun-filled performance. What makes this production even more glorious is that apart from Coombs Marr and Grigor playing host, 25 members of the public are enlisted to take part in each show. With only a few hours’ rehearsal on the day of performance, their appearance adds much excitement, making the Oedipus Schmoedipus experience totally unique. (26th October to 29th October 2018)
Milo Rau / International Institute of Political Murder / CAMPO (Switzerland / Germany / Belgium) – Five Easy Pieces
Celebrated Swiss director Milo Rau’s Five Easy Pieces daringly involves seven children under 13, casting them through simple exercises in roles associated with a notorious 1990s case of a serial killer. The drama alludes to the mass demonstration of 30,000 against Belgium’s corrupt judiciary. It also examines how children, through their actions, grapple with serious questions about morality. Voted as the top of the “Top 10” of the Berliner Festspiele-Theatertreffen 2017, Five Easy Pieces has toured Singapore and more than a dozen countries in Europe, catapulting this work to popular acclaim. It makes its Hong Kong and Beijing premieres in 2018. (31st October to 2nd November 2018, Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre)
Except for Five Easy Pieces, the Hong Kong International Black Box Festival’s offerings are presented at the HKRep Black Box Theatre (Sheung Wan Civic Centre, 8/F)
Advanced Booking of Season Tickets up to 30% Discount
Advanced booking is now available (from now till 28 May 2018), offering up to 30% discount, for the best seats available in the house. The new season brochure is distributed through URBTIX, also available on www.hkrep.com/1819. Subscription programme enquiry: 3103 5900.
The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre acknowledges the following organizations for their support of the 2018-19 season: (in alphabetical order by company name)
China Everbright Limited
Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd.
Hang Seng Bank
MTR Corporation Limited
Shun Hing Group
Wing Lung Bank
Artist for 2018-19 Season Advance Booking Brochure: Red Hong Yi
Red Hong Yi is a Chinese-Malaysian artist with a background in architecture known for creating art using everyday unconventional materials. Inspired by her experience in Shanghai, Red discovered wholesale markets and their assortment of goods which she turned into portraits of renowned personalities such as Yao Ming painted with a basketball, Jay Chou with coffee cup stains, Aung San Suu Kyi with dyed carnations and Ai Weiwei with sunflower seeds. The volume of materials for her pieces alludes to the globalization and mass production in Asia. She documents her work through videos and photos on social media platforms which have been viewed by millions globally.
Among her clients are Facebook, Google, Samsung, Nike, Chase JP Morgan, Airbnb, Hewlett Packett, AT&T and Jackie Chan, who commissioned Red to create a portrait of himself made of more than 60 thousand chopsticks for his 60th birthday. Red presented at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos where she showcased a piece that reflected cultural elements of her country Malaysia.
She has been awarded with Perspective Global’s 40 Under 40 Award, named as one of 19 Future Chasers of Australia Unlimited and one of 12 Brilliant Malaysians by Esquire. She has presented her art at TEDx in Kuala Lumpur, APEC Youth in Beijing, MIT in Boston and the World Economic Forum in Davos.
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