2018-19 Season Opening Performance
Wing Lung Bank 85th Anniversary Proudly Sponsors The Big Meal
54-meals that take you on the multiple flavours of life
【Hong Kong Repertory Theatre】At various festivals or special occasion, families often meet for special meals, gathering together members spanning several generations. The highlight of such gatherings is the time spent together as a family, while food is merely the “cherry on top”. Different relationships within each family often reveal themselves at such occasions, which allow one to sample the many flavours of life, while we may have experienced similar scenarios ourselves. The Big Meal, written by Dan LeFranc, formerly Visiting Lecturer running the MFA Playwriting Workshop at the Yale School of Drama, was lauded as Best Play of the Year by the Chicago Tribune before receiving its Off-Broadway premiere in 2012 and nominated as Outstanding Play at the Drama Desk Awards. The upcoming production is translated and directed by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Anthony Chan, starring Lui Si Lan, Chow Chi Fai, Mercy Wong, Wang Wei, ManMan Kwok, Eddy Au Yeung, Regan Tong (A Group), Tom Yan (A Group), Yives Hon (B Group) and Nate Leung (B Group), running from 15 to 27 May at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre. Two public previews will also be held on 12 and 13 May 2018. Tickets are now available at URBTIX.
The Big Meal captures many meals of five generations of a family, as scenes follow each other in tight succession, chronicling the many flavours – from sweet to bitter, sour to spicy – of family relationships. Some far-reaching beliefs and values are passed on subconsciously from generation to generation through meals – son becoming father, father becoming grandfather – as years fall by quickly.
Playwright of the Big Meal, Dan LeFranc, takes the audience onto a succinct yet powerful journey depicting different chapters of life through a series of 54 meals which involve five generations of a family, portrayed by eight different actors: a young person in one scene becomes a middle-age adult in the next, portrayed by a different actor. The fast pace of the piece alludes to how quickly life passes by and how changes could occur swiftly. Each person takes on to certain degree personality traits of his/her parents, be they desirable or not. Children are extensions of the parents. It is the playwright’s intention to explore how the “DNA” of each family influences subsequent generations.
Like a roller-coaster ride, The Big Meal brings to life the many flavours of life. “This drama discusses the great number of things one does in his/her lifetime, including the extension of life through a new generation, who then in turns extends the family further with another generation. A similar theme was also explored in Footprints in the Snow. The five generations in The Big Meal seem to display more and more apathy towards their family with each younger generation, yet deep down there is love. The way of expressing such love is more subtle, simple yet easy to understand, expressed in a profound manner. Although the drama was written in the West, the subject of love for one’s family is universal. For this production, I have made slight alterations in the script in order to better reach out to the Hong Kong audience,” said Anthony Chan, translator and director of this production.
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