New Version with New Cast Following 14 Sold-Out Performances in Premiere Production
A Thought-Provoking Journey on Education and Justice
【Hong Kong Repertory Theatre】What happens when two people follow contrasting principles and neither is willing to back off? Principle takes the audience on a thought-provoking journey on education and justice through a drama created by the differences between a new school principal who wants everything to be carried out by the books and a veteran vice principal who believes that discretions should be exercised on compassionate grounds. Written by Ivan Kwok, Principle was nominated the Best Script at The Hong Kong Theatre Libre when it was premiered in 2017. This current 2018 production will be directed by Fong Chun Kit and a new cast including Lui Si Lan, Ko Hon Man, Chris Sun, Wong Suet Ip and Poon Tai Ming, to be performed at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre from 9 – 25 November with tickets available at URBTIX.
Principle is about a new principal establishes a host of new rules soon after she started her job. Her vigorous approach upsets the vice principal, teachers and students as gossip swirls around that the new principal and the vice principal are at loggerheads. Later, an upsetting rumor rears its ugly head: the vice principal, having served for almost three decades, will be transferred. This piece of news angers the student body. A campus crisis is about to explode, as parents and the school’s board are also hurled into the vortex. How will the school management respond? Is education concerned more with following strict rules or passing on values and heritage? Is the school’s reputation more important than differentiating right from wrong?
“The new version of Principle returns its focus to the decisions made by people, rather than a linguistically-driven thought process,” said Ivan Kwok, playwright of Principle. “The characters in the story insist on upholding their own principles in all circumstances. As a result, they have to make choices in situations which require compromises one way or another. When rewriting the piece, I was most interested in the exploration of the internal conflict experienced by the characters behind their words – what are the reasons behind their decisions? Ideologies, emotions, human nature, systems, or other motives? Human beings are extremely complex and they have souls. Why have we become who we are today? This is the question I hope to explore with the audience through this script.”
“This is more than a dramatic event in a school. It is closely linked to the current society, without directly placing the realistic situations in society on stage. Principle takes the audience into the conundrum created by two opposing parties. Like many situations in life, there is no right or wrong (decision). It is a reconsideration of the conflict between people and regulations, as well as an exploration of human nature,” said director Fong Chun Kit.
Reviews from the premiere production:
“He employed a micro ‘Magic If’. His observations of characteristics displayed by different people in society were highly sensitive and his language was delicate rather than sensational. These characters can be seen in our daily life, even within the mainstream ideology. When placed in a special social circumstance, the characters’ differences are highlighted through a refusal to compromise between different interpersonal principles…the characters were neither demonized nor portrayed as saints, and the language possessed a sense of risk but never exploded. The characters consequently had to rely on language to convince the other party, using words as their weapon in this battle. This is the potential of Kwok’s script, “ Chen Yuet Stand News
“The characters went head-to-head with one another using their words, delivered by a committed cast of performers. The chemistry created was rather outstanding. The plot reflected not only the intricate interactions currently in schools, but also how the society’s emotions entered indirectly into the school environment. It was a great performance exploring important topics on society,” On Tou Ming Pao
Playwright Ivan Kwok
Ivan Kwok graduated from the School of Drama of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) in 2016 with a Master of Fine Arts in Drama. Whilst at the HKAPA, he was awarded a scholarship from the Sam Leung’s Studio as well as three times the Cheung Tat Ming Playwriting Scholarship.
His recent works include: Falling Flowers in Prospects Theatre’s 11th Playwright Scheme, Brillant Fireworks Tonight – The Story of Old Beijing by Theatre Baal, Way Up to the Sky and Principle by HKRep; True Lies by HKAPA and Tiny Snail and Big Whale Travelling Around the World by Jumbo Kids Theatre. His translation works include: New Directors’ Movement – The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui and Mourning Becomes Electra by Theatre Horizon. He has also written: Prison Holiday presented by Lai Chai Ming as well as a co-creation entitled Sound Walk – Sounds Telling Future with Soundpocket for the 2018 New Vision Arts Festival. Principle was nominated the Best Script at The Hong Kong Theatre Libre.
Director Fong Chun Kit
Fong Chun Kit graduated from the Drama School of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) Degree, majoring in Directing. Fong’s graduate piece Taming of the Shrew won him the HKAPA’s “Outstanding Director 2009/2010” award. His other work, Three Men and a Lady, which he wrote, directed and performed, was nominated for Best Script at the 3rd Hong Kong Theatre Libre Awards in 2011. In 2016, Fong was nominated in the Best Director (Tragedy/Drama) category at the 25th Hong Kong Drama Awards for his work in The Marriage. In 2017 and 2018, at the Hong Kong Drama Awards, Fong won Best Director (Comedy/Satire) for The Truth from Liar and Sing Out.
Fong’s directorial output includes Auspicious Day, The Marriage, The Last Supper (premiere and three revivals, plus touring to such cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hanzhou, Guangzhou, Kaohsiung and Singapore) and Secrets of the 81/2 Floor for the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre; Hong Kong Trilogy for the Hong Kong Arts Festival; Le dieu du carnage (premiere and revival, plus Singapore tour) for Dionysus Contemporary Theatre; Red Sky for Chung Ying Theatre; Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love and Avenue Q for Windmill Grass Theatre; The Truth from Liar, Sins, Forget Me Not, Monsters and Monsters (re-run) for the Artocrite Theater; The Goat for We Draman (also as translator); Three Men and a Lady for Three Men Play (also as playwright and actor); With Love, William Shakespeare for Theatre Noir (also as playwright, touring Hong Kong, China and Taiwan with more than 100 performances); Lysistrata and Taming of the Shrew for the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Twelfth Night for tobe THEATRE (premiere and revival).
Currently a freelance theatre artist, Fong is a co-founder of tobe THEATRE.
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