Twenty-Five Minutes Older @ Art Basel

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One of Art Basel‘s off-site exhibits this year is Twenty-Five Minutes Older by local artist Kingsley Ng. Ng’s ‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’ turns two of Hong Kong’s iconic trams into moving camera obscuras, creating an altered reality and allowing passengers to experience Hong Kong in a new way – in reverse.

Moving images of the city, created via a ‘pin-hole camera’ in the side of the blacked out tram, are accompanied by spoken extracts from Liu Yichang’s famous stream-of-consciousness novella Tête-bêche. The live images of passing street life displayed inside the tram blend and flow alongside Liu’s poetic incantations. The familiar re-experienced in a completely new way – it’s quite surreal as the upside down world floats in the darkness as Liu’s words flow from headphones that remove the everyday sounds.

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‘Twenty-Five Minutes Older’, was first presented in 2016 as part of ‘Human Vibrations: The 5th LargeScale Public Media Art Exhibition’ that celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Arts Development Council in Hong Kong, runs on the different parts of the tram tracks until the 28 March. Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance here.

I Hate Hamlet!

To be or not to be – that is the question facing celebrity TV actor Andrew Rally (Hamish Campbell). To be Hamlet in a prestigious production in New York’s Central Park, or not to be Hamlet and stick to what he knows best – phone-it-in acting on a cheesy but popular TV show.

His girlfriend (Kate Mulligan) and his agent (Kath O’Connor) want him to take the role; his Hollywood buddy (Mike Pizzuto) and real-estate agent (Jane Archibald) do not. As for Andrew, he’s just not sure he’s capable of the Bard. Plus he’s seriously worried about the slings and arrows of outraged critics!

Enter the ghost of John Barrymore (Neville Sarony), dressed in high Shakespearean garb and determined to help Andrew fulfill his actor’s destiny. What a piece of work is Barrymore! Noble in reason and infinite in faculty, and yet Andrew remains suspicious that Barrymore may smile and smile and be a villain.

Playwright Paul Rudnick had the idea for I Hate Hamlet! when he lived in John Barrymore’s apartment in New York in the late 1980s. This Hong Kong Players production is directed by Jodi Gilchrist.

So, what’s a man to do? It’s said that all the world’s a stage and each must play his part… the question is, which part?

Cast
Andrew Rally – Hamish Campbell
John Barrymore – Neville Sarony
Deirdre McDavey – Kate Mulligan
Lillian Troy – Kath O’Connor
Felicia Dantine – Jane Archibald
Gary Lefkowitz – Mike Pizzuto

Director: Jodi Gilchrist
Assistant Director: Sarah Kidd

I Hate Hamlet!
Hong Kong Players
Date: 1-4 March, 2017
Venue: Fringe Club, Fringe Underground
Tickets: $280 from www.art-mate.net

Ex-Croall; McEwen by Antonio Stradivari

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Ahead of it’s auction at Sotheby’s Galleries London in March, the Ex-Croall; McEwen violin crafted by Antonio Stradivari in 1684 is being showcased around the world.

One of only about 500 surviving Stradivaris and valued at over $12million local violinist Vincent Chua demonstrated the Stradivari’s beautiful sound by performing God Save the Queen variation by Paganini

I Hate Hamlet!

To be or not to be – that is the question facing celebrity TV actor Andrew Rally (Hamish Campbell). To be Hamlet in a prestigious production in New York’s Central Park, or not to be Hamlet and stick to what he knows best – phone-it-in acting on a cheesy but popular TV show.

His girlfriend (Kate Mulligan) and his agent (Kath O’Connor) want him to take the role; his Hollywood buddy (Mike Pizzuto) and real-estate agent (Jane Archibald) do not. As for Andrew, he’s just not sure he’s capable of the Bard. Plus he’s seriously worried about the slings and arrows of outraged critics!

Enter the ghost of John Barrymore (Neville Sarony), dressed in high Shakespearean garb and determined to help Andrew fulfill his actor’s destiny. What a piece of work is Barrymore! Noble in reason and infinite in faculty, and yet Andrew remains suspicious that Barrymore may smile and smile and be a villain.

Playwright Paul Rudnick had the idea for I Hate Hamlet! when he lived in John Barrymore’s apartment in New York in the late 1980s. This Hong Kong Players production is directed by Jodi Gilchrist.

So, what’s a man to do? It’s said that all the world’s a stage and each must play his part… the question is, which part?

Cast
Andrew Rally – Hamish Campbell
John Barrymore – Neville Sarony
Deirdre McDavey – Kate Mulligan
Lillian Troy – Kath O’Connor
Felicia Dantine – Jane Archibald
Gary Lefkowitz – Mike Pizzuto

Director: Jodi Gilchrist
Assistant Director: Sarah Kidd

I Hate Hamlet!
Hong Kong Players
Date: 1-4 March, 2017
Venue: Fringe Club, Fringe Underground
Tickets: $280 from www.art-mate.net

Bon Appétit! – Macau Fringe Festival

Entitled A Feast of Creativity! Bon Appétit! and adopting the concept “All around the city, our stages, our patrons, our artists”, the 16th Macau Fringe Festival looks to offer an arts banquet for an entire city.

2017’s banquet includes a hairdresser’s salon turned into a musical. A recreation of an entertainment house at Beco da Felicidade and a funeral at the Ruins of St. Paul’s in the middle of the night. Organized by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, The Macau Fringe Festival runs from 13 to 22 January 2017 and features 23 programmes at multiple venues.

Zuò Zuò Tea House reveals the solitude and secrets of Rua da Felicidade by combining elements of dance and music and digging into the history of Macau’s red-light district. Mobile Kitchen invites people from the cultural field to take the role of chefs and share their cuisine, whether refined or homely, and encourage the public to savour the flavour of life.

In Antiwords, produced by Czech Republic Spitfire Company, two actresses drink beer after beer, bragging and arguing in an explosive mix of nonsensical humour and imagination. Circolando’s Night which debuts on the first day of the Festival features a trio of men who through their intensely physical and emotional expression ask questions of language and aesthetics.

In Good Hands, by Catherine Ireton, is a live musical set in a hairdressing salon about secrets and trust. The Magnificent 4 uses the human body as an instrument and a choreography that makes use of the legs and hand-clapping in creating a unique tempo.

In 5 Women, Dutch choreographer Kevin Pollak joins hands with five dancers at a birthday party set in a café where, through dance and movement, secrets that cannot be shared emerge. The Smooth Life is a puppet show set to Arabian music that tells the true story of the life of the director Husam Abed in a Palestinian refugee camp.

Funeral for the Living, directed by Daisuke Sagawa and performed by Japanese company Theatre Moments, debates issues of life and death. While The Other Side of the Sacred produced by Macao choreographer Candy Kuok in cooperation with Nina Dipla takes the audience on a journey that mixes dance, poetry and music.

In Weaving Landscape: Night Tide, the Associação de Arte e Cultura – Comuna de Pedra use different materials as a medium of creativity, making use of body language and installation art to explore the relationship between body, fabrics and all living things.

There’s also a range of extended programmes including Thematic talks: Foreign Theatre – Body, Memory and Labour and Fringe Reviews 2017, where artists and performing groups in different fields will share their creation experiences. For the full programme see www.macaucityfringe.gov.mo, tickets are on sale now from Macauticket.

Macau Fringe Festival
Date: 13-22 January 2017
Venue: various
Tickets: MacauTicket
More info: www.macaucityfringe.gov.mo

The Hong Kong Three Sisters World Premiere @ HK Cultural Centre – 6 January, 2017

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The World Premiere of Alice Theatre Laboratory‘s The Hong Kong Three Sisters took place at the HK Cultural Centre’s Studio Theatre on the 6 January, 2017.
Click on any photo or here for the full gallery of images

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The Hong Kong Three Sisters

The emptiness of Hong Kong people’s life will go naked in Alice Theatre Laboratorys anatomy of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. The Hong Kong Three Sisters is a highly localised fusion of Hong Kong and the essence of the classic Russian play.

Adapted by Director Andrew Chan who commented “There is a glimpse of hope shown in Chekhov’s characters’ minds. In contrast, our life in Hong Kong has lost its balance in recent years, there is a lack of direction within the region and the things people used to strive for are realistically now beyond them.”

“Modern Hong Kong is the backdrop to this creative interpretation” continued Chan, “Chekhov captured the average Russian’s lifestyle a century ago.” Seasoned by minimalism, The Hong Kong Three Sisters is ‘molecular gastronomic dish’, which is the sublimation of Chekhov’s ideas in a post-modern presentation devised by Chan or as he puts it “A “molecular” presentation that aims to reveal the status quo of the Hong Kong people today.”

Ahead of it’s World Premiere in January bc magazine spoke to Director Andrew Chan and actress Chan Shui Yu (Olga/Alice) about the new minimalist production.

Director Andrew Chan

Why did you choose a minimalist approach to the play?
From time to time, there is discussion among directors in Hong Kong about using a bare stage or very few props. They are regarded as minimalists. I have been wondering whether this artistic approach, which originated in the 60s and 70s, is that simple. German architect Ludwig Miles van der Rohe says, “Less is more.” I have been thinking over how much means “less” and how much means “more”. I like learning new ideas and believe the world of knowledge has no borders. That is why I take every project or performance as a learning opportunity, which lets me wander on a theatrical journey among different artistic forms and styles. This journey is an expedition in the realm of “minimalism”.

What attracted you to Chekov’s The Three Sisters?
“Minimalism is Talent’s sister.” This is what Russian novelist and playwright Anton Chekhov once said. Owing to this quotation, I linked minimalism with his works and read them again. In terms of conciseness, his novellas are the best. In his condensed writings, the ordinary, vulgar and deplorable life in the Tsardom of Russia is vividly revealed. Each story is a picture illustrating the joy and sorrow of life.

My favourite Chekhov’s play is actually The Seagull. Yet, The Three Sisters touches me more deeply. Irina’s line “Moscow! Moscow! Moscow!” reminds me of the current situation in Hong Kong. The Three Sisters is a story before the October Revolution when people are facing the fall of the Empire and expecting the arrival of a new era.

They are like waiting in the dark before dawn and braving the great change with an anonymous pain in the heart. Aren’t we, Hong Kong people who are nostalgic for the “good old days”, facing various difficulties and braving the unforeseeable tomorrow? More than a century ago, the Russian three sisters could dream of Moscow, but now what can we dream of? Where can we go?

How Did The Hong Kong Three Sisters Evolve?
In the process of rehearsal, new ideas emerged and the play has evolved and branched out into the life of Hong Kong stage actors after they take their costumes off. There are a property agent, a podcast anchor of a conspiracy forum, an assistant professor of the Medicine Faculty, a tour guide and a spiritual counselor who are meeting different Hong Kong people with different problems. Their stories are actually like novellas which resemble the works by the contemporary American novelist Raymond Carver, who is known as “the American Chekhov”. Without redundant structure, his concise language leads readers to the core of the story directly and lets them experience the tension of the conflict that elicits no background nor ending. Only the selected part of the story is told. On our stage, there will be a few scenes like Carver’s novellas, illustrating no pretext nor resolution, but the very moment.

What Makes The Hong Kong Three Sisters Unique?
What makes The Hong Kong Three Sisters different from our previous productions is the way it lets you “escape” from reality but makes you “face” the reality. It is also dealing with complicated issues in a minimalist form.

Chan Shui Yu

What Attracts You to The Three Sisters
As a graduate from HKAPA, I am excited about the opportunity to perform classical plays, let alone the challenge of adapting a masterpiece, such as Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. From character analysis to adaptation, it has been a beautiful and pleasant journey. Like our previous performances, which were created by ensemble effort, this production is telling stories in a unique, organic and realistic way.

What parallels do you see between the play and Hong Kong today?
It was touching to read the script of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters as the story illustrates exactly Hong Kong’s environment and situation today. Even if we are proud of the good old days, we still need to carry on with best wishes. We believe the best is yet to come and our effort today will pay in the future and pave the way for our next generation.

Do you think that women today in Hong Kong face the same problems as those in Chekov’s time?
Chekhov’s works are universal. It seems women enjoy more freedom nowadays but still the women today are facing the same issues related to family, marriage, love and work like the women in the old days. We find the women today as strong and determined as the ones in The Three Sisters.

Chekhov’s works mainly deal with the social issues in Russia in the late 19th century, including the rise of businessmen, the fall of landlords and the social status before the October Revolution. In the meantime, his works also reveal the absurdity of the world today, the anxiety of our current life and the collapse of the old values. However, there is always hope in his works and the characters project an optimistic sense. His characters are stranded in the midst of joy and sorrow but still carry on bravely.

Through the play Chekov presents various opinions about what it is to live a good life. What do you think living a good life for a HK woman looks like today?
We would also like to find out the answer. Olga says in Act 4, “If only we knew, if only we knew!” But it is certain that we are all positive.

Character List
OlgaAlice  Chan Shui Yu
VershininKwong – Chau Ka Fai
AndreiAugust – Leung Chi Chung Eric
TuzenbachDamon – Lai Ho Yin Desmond
MashaSue – Fung Siu Shan Phoebe
NatashaHilda – Yuen Wai Ying Grace
IrinaKitty – Chan Hui Yan Candy

Director: Chan Hang Fai Andrew
Playwright: Anton ChekhovDevised by Alice Theatre Laboratory

The Hong Kong Three Sisters
Alice Theatre Laboratory
When:
6-8 January, 2017
Where: HK Cultural Centre, Studio Theatre
How much: $200, $160 from Urbtix
More info:
Cantonese drama with Chinese and English surtitles
6–7 Jan, 2017 – 8pm
7–8 Jan, 2017 – 3pm

The Hong Kong Three Sisters

The emptiness of Hong Kong people’s life will go naked in Alice Theatre Laboratory’s anatomy of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters. The Hong Kong Three Sisters is a highly localised fusion of Hong Kong and the essence of the classic Russian play that has it’s World Premiere in January 2017.

Adapted by Director Andrew Chan who commented “There is a glimpse of hope shown in Chekhov’s characters’ minds. In contrast, our life in Hong Kong has lost its balance in recent years, there is a lack of direction within the region and the things people used to strive for are realistically now beyond them.”

“Modern Hong Kong is the backdrop to this creative interpretation” continued Chan, “Chekhov captured the average Russian’s lifestyle a century ago.” Seasoned by minimalism, The Hong Kong Three Sisters is ‘molecular gastronomic dish’, which is the sublimation of Chekhov’s ideas in a post-modern presentation devised by Chan or as he puts it “A “molecular” presentation that aims to reveal the status quo of the Hong Kong people today.”

The Hong Kong Three Sisters is also the concluding production of the Theatrical Minimalism Exploration Project, which has conducted a series of seminars, workshops and showcases examining minimalism in detail over the last two years. The production explores Minimalist Theatre through disintegrating and reassembling a masterpiece in the post-modern approach with the injection of naturalistic performance, Brecht’s alienation effect and the imagery language of the stage.

Presented by Alice Theatre Laboratory (ATL) and financially supported by the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the HKSAR, The Hong Kong Three Sisters will première in the Studio Theatre of Hong Kong Cultural Centre before touring Asia and Europe between May and September 2017.

Cast: Chan Shui Yu, Chau Ka Fai, Leung Chi Chung Eric, Lai Ho Yin Desmond, Fung Siu Shan Phoebe, Yuen Wai Ying Grace and Chan Hui Yan Candy

Director: Chan Hang Fai Andrew
Playwright: Anton ChekhovDevised by Alice Theatre Laboratory

The Hong Kong Three Sisters
Alice Theatre Laboratory
When:
 6-8 January, 2017
Where: HK Cultural Centre, Studio Theatre
How much: $200, $160 from Urbtix
More info:
Cantonese drama
6–7 Jan, 2017 – 8pm
7–8 Jan, 2017 – 3pm