Blair Reeve: Author and Peel Street Poet


New Zealander Blair Reeve has been writing and performing a rhythmic and comical style of performance poetry since 1995. He spent the first seven years of the new millennium teaching English in Japanese junior high schools before moving to Hong Kong where he continued to teach phonics to primary students until 2013. He graduated from Massey University (NZ) in 2012 after studying Japanese and English Literature and then turned his attention to more sustained creative writing by joining the City University of Hong Kong’s Masters in Fine Arts program. He completed this in 2014, and one year later published his first children’s book Hogart The Hedgehog Turns Nink. In September 2016 he published his second book for young readers, Greta von Gerbil & Her Really Large Lexicon. Currently he works from home, caring for his infant daughter and mentoring post-grad students at Chinese U for their portfolios in creative writing. He was a feature author in the Hong Kong Young Readers’ Literary Festival in March 2016 and will be performing at the upcoming TEDxWanChai event on October 29.

How long have you been involved in poetry?
I’ve been involved in poetry since I was a kid in the 70s. First as a reader of comic verse—things like Spike Milligan, limericks & nonsense verse. In high school I really took to analyzing poetry, but I didn’t start writing until I was about 20. I was a pretender of anguished verse, which came from being one of those dyed-in-the-wool Cure fans. I then took up writing poetry as something to be read aloud and performed. This transition from pretender to writer/performer happened around 1996.

What inspires you to write?
My inspiration comes entirely from other poets and poetry. When I see writing I like it makes me want to write better. Hence my early poems were all like bad Goth lyrics. Then I was inspired by other performer-poets during my Dunedin days of the 90s and some of the old Victorian stuff I read at that time, especially Gerard Manly Hopkins who had a really playful word thing going on. Dr. Seuss continues to be an inspiration when I read to my daughter and that led me to wanting to write comical anapestic rhyming verse. This is so much fun I’m sticking with it for the time being.

How does Hong Kong influence your writing?
Hong Kong influences my writing in an indirect way. My social scene is miscellaneous and so it frees me to be as experimental as I like. It also means the cultural inputs into my writing are diverse, and I like that. I like that my poetry is informed by so many different perspectives. But my writing tends to be interior and imaginative rather than worldly, and in that sense, Hong Kong as a direct subject has yet to make it into my writing.

Here’s an extract from Blair’s new children’s book.

Flaytoo the Friendly Mayfly (extract)
Said Phlooty the Mayfly to Flaytoo his boy,
“You’re four hours old now, you’ve played with that toy
since the moment your mother gave birth to you son.
You’ve only got twenty more hours to have fun,
so don’t hesitate, Flayt, get out in the sun.”

We’re fish food, young chap, and that’s perfectly fine.
I’ve nothing against fish who do need to dine,
but there’s no need to hurry yourself to their plate.
Your time here is precious. Their stomachs can wait.
So listen up kiddo, go fly to the ends
of the field and make lots of new wonderful friends.
Because mayflies like us—we don’t live very long.
We’ve only one day till the end of our song.”

Then Phlooty the Mayfly unflicked his four wings,
and left Flaytoo flying alone without strings.

Say what?” exclaimed Flaytoo, “I’ve only one day?
That barely leaves time for a Mayfly to play!
Well I certainly mustn’tly waste my time ruing
those four hours gone when I ought to be doing
what Phlooty suggested—travelling and seeing
how other flies spend their lives living and being.”

Peel Street Poetry is an open mic poetry night at Orange Peel. It runs every Wednesday of the month except the first. The environment is friendly and they love new performers, so come share your poetry or just listen along to some of Hong Kong’s sharpest poetic talents.

Peel Street Poetry Open Mic
Date: 2nd, 3rd, 4th (and 5th) Wednesdays of the month
Venue: Orange Peel
Tickets: Free
More info:

Edited: 1 November 2016 – extract amended, last line was missing

Barfly: Iron Fairies


There are many bars and restaurants but not many like Iron Fairies, whose origin lies in a children’s tale of the same name written and published by miner, designer and author Ashley Sutton. Stepping through the Iron Fairies portal is like stepping into another world of the type you see on television, in the cinema or in your imagination.

Resembling a furnace room, there so much going on your eyes don’t know where to look, perhaps when it’s full of drinkers the experience will be different but the feeling of entering another realm was compelling on our visit. The ceiling of butterflies whispering and flowing like waves. The low cast iron tables inset with candles and mounds of iron fairies to resemble fires. The six furnaces that dominate the bar, the walls of iron working tools, the bundles of fairies dust… A smorgasbord of stimuli that are not pictures or printed wall designs as you’d expect, but real and physical and reward close inspection.
It must be a bitch to dust and keep clean.


With live music, crafted cocktails Iron Fairies is going to be one of the places to be, but to enjoy and appreciate the wonders of the this part of the Iron Fairies world – there’s books, a website and bars in Bangkok and Tokyo – go when it’s less busy, read the tale, wonder on the identities of the twelve fairies and their tales of love and life.

Iron Fairies
LG/F, 1-13 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong (the entrance portal is around the corner and down the stairs)
Opening hours: daily from 6pm – 3am

5:58 – 28 September, 2nd Anniversary


5:58 when para-military police in green army style fatigues and armed with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles advanced on thousands of peaceful HongKongers and without warning opened fire with tear gas and started pointing rifles at those advocating democracy.

5:58 when HongKongers respect and faith in the police disappeared.

5:58 when Beijing exposed the reality behind the facade of one country two systems.

87 canisters, a gift from 689 to those who wish to stop him destroying the city and people he’s supposed to lead.

87 a blunt statement that nepotism, cronyism and corruption are the way of the future and free speech and democracy a thing of the past

Two years have passed, but none forget. We’ll be back!








Click on any photo for more images.

Queen + Adam Lambert @ AsiaWorld Expo – 28 September, 2016


The show must go on as Queen + Adam Lambert entertained almost 10,000 sing-a-long fans at AsiaWorld Expo as the legendary rock group final made it to Hong Kong.

There is no replacing Freddie, as a couple of video clips showed, but Lambert works hard to entertain in what must be the strange job of filling the boots of a man who’s influence dominates the evening. Fans want to hear the classic songs, so he can’t make them his own and yet he’s not singing in a covers band… Tough task, but he makes a pretty good fist of it.

At 2 hours and 15 minutes the show is tight, professional and includes most of the hits. There’s an entertaining drum-off between Roger Taylor and his son, a long solo from Brian May and the two song encore ends with band waving goodbye to the strains of God Save the Queen.


If there’s a complaint, beyond the, as usual, very average sound at AsiaWorld Expo, it’s that the show feels very orchestrated and choreographed. It lacked those moments of spontaneity and improvisation that can turn a good/great concert into a truly memorable even legendary one. Still a fun night out and there’ll be a lot of hoarse voices this morning. Thanks Freddie, Roger, Brian for so many great songs that will live forever!

Seven Seas of Rhye
Hammer to Fall
Stone Cold Crazy
Fat Bottom Girls
Don’t Stop Me Now
Killer Queen
Somebody to Love

Love of My Life
It’s a Kind of Magic
Drum Battle
Under Pressure
Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Another One Bites the Dust
I Want It All
Who Wants to Live Forever
The Show Must Go On
Guitar Solo
Tie Your Mother Down
I Want to Break Free
Bohemian Rhapsody
Radio Gaga

We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions


Photos: Warner Music Hong Kong,

What are The Colours of Humanity?


What are The Colours of Humanity? This is the intriguing question posed by the International Black Box Festival 2016 (ibb2016) which aspires that audiences immerse themselves in different artistic realms to discover the many colours of humanity. Organised by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre the festival runs from 15 October to 20 November and features productions encompassing a wide range of styles each presenting a different approach to the dramatic text.

HK Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Anthony Chan commented, “These six highly anticipated productions are all stylistically unique. We live in an age of complicated emotions and relationships that affect not only the nature of human connection but also our thinking beyond national boundaries. We aim to provide our audience with a wide vista where imagination and creativity roam free among the many facets of our collective, civilized spirit.”


The curator of ibb2016 Fung Wai Hang explains this year’s focus. “For the inaugural Black Box Festival we chose the theme of ‘body and movement’, while this year we focus on the ‘dramatic text’. In recent years, different approaches to the dramatic text have surfaced. We hope to establish a platform for international exchange, so that our local theatre professionals and enthusiasts can enjoy an enriching encounter with visiting artists through workshops and lectures.”

International Black Box Festival 2016 Programme

La Voix Humaine – Toneelgroep Amsterdam (Netherlands)
15-17 April, 2016 @ HK City Hall, Theatre
During an hour-long performance, a woman is trapped inside a box-like room, holding onto the receiver talking to her ex-lover. For the entire hour, the audience watches her in this emotional roller-coaster ride, becoming de facto “peeping toms”. La voix humaine was written by Jean Cocteau and directed by 2016 Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove. (Note this production took place in April).

Descendants of the Eunuch Admiral – Performer Studio (Hong Kong)
15-23 October @ HKRep Black Box
A classic work by the founding father of Singapore theatre Kuo Pao-kun, this play addresses power politics as well as castration, depicting Zheng He’s seven ocean voyages as well as the eunuch admiral’s physical and psychological challenges. It provides a parable on the pressures of modern life, where people are left with little choice: either self-castration or being castrated by others. Descendants of the Eunuch Admiral was written by Kuo Pao-kun, adapted and directed by Tony Wong.


The 9 Fridas – Möbius Strip Theatre (Wales, Taiwan, Hong Kong)
27-30 October @ HKRep Black Box
The 9 fridas is a mosaic combining a patchwork of impressions and stories depicting the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954), with characters and their stories echoing the real life of Kahlo herself. The 9 fridas was written by Kaite O’Reilly and directed by Phillip Zarrilli, renowned for his psychophysical acting method.

Asagao – Bkyuyugekitai (Japan)
3-6 November @ HKRep Black Box
Asagao was created especially for the International Black Box Festival by Shed Skin playwright Tsukuda Norihiko, who not only wrote the script but also appears in the production. The story takes place after a husband returns after a six-month stint working away from home to discover a deserted house where morning glory vines have overtaken the walls and even the ceiling. Where is his wife? The story crosses time and space incorporating absurdist elements, humour and irony, at the same time; it is tinged with a sense of helplessness. Asagao is directed by Kamiya Shogo.

White Room – White Room Research Collective (Japan, Hong Kong)
10-13 November @ HKRep Black Box
Created and directed by Waguri Yukio, disciple of Butoh founder Hijikata Tatsumi and principal dancer of Asbestos-kan, White Room combines butoh and text in expressing the hearts and desire of seven patients. Written and directed by Waguri Yukio.


Before After – Creative VaQi (South Korea)
17-20 November @ HKRep Black Box
Divided into sections based on time, Before After shows the changes that occur before and after a devastating event. A time before and after is created after a tragic, irreversible event. What experiences do we go through that make us realise that an event has affected ‘our’ lives? What happens as a point in ‘my’ time on stage suddenly meets ‘yours’ space. Before After is a collective work directed by Kyung-sung Lee.

The International Black Box Festival 2016 also includes workshops, talks and a symposium hosted by artists from around the world. Speakers at these events include Theatre du pif’s Artistic Director Bonni Chan, Japanese butoh master Waguri Yukio, Professor Winton Au, Professor Chiu Chui-de, Kaite O’Reilly, Tony Wong, Tsukuda Norihiko and Kyung-sung Lee. For more information on workshops, talks and symposium visit the festival’s website


International Black Box Festival 2016
Date: 15 October – 20 November, 2016
Venue: HK Rep Black Box Theatre
Tickets: $280 from Urbtix

Nizakat Khan Scores Blistering Century


Nizakat Khan has continued his red hot run of form from Hong Kong’s tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland with a blistering century in the Premier league.

Playing for Hong Kong Cricket Club, Nizakat smashed 116 off 60 balls with his century coming off just 52 deliveries. His innings included an incredible 13 sixes. The innings comes after Nizakat scored 69, 123, 62, 43 and 40 in matches against Ireland and Scotland, with the right hander now feeling confident in his own game.

“I still feel that I’m in the form of my life, had a great tour for Hong Kong. I missed out in the first Premier League game but I knew my day would come and today was my day.” said Khan “I was in an aggressive mood, I wanted to be positive from the first ball and told myself anything in my zone I would put away. I wasn’t looking for fours, I was looking for sixes and they kept coming.”

Khan continued “I hit a few out of the ground, my favourite shot is to hit straight and managing to hit one over the sight screen felt good. I’m sorry that we lost so many balls today! But seriously, I am just trying to stick to my routines in training, working on my fitness and my weaknesses. I just want to be on the winning team so today was great.”

Nizakat’s whirlwind innings proved the backbone of a dominant 192-run win for HKCC against Pakistan Association Club.

HKCC posted 336-6 with Mark Wright (65) and Scott Mckechnie (56) also scoring half-centuries.

In response, PACC did reach 117-3 at one stage thanks to Bilal Muhammad’s 71, but the visitors collapsed to be all out for 144. Giacomo Lamplough ran through the tail and picked up 4-16.

In Sunday’s other match, Kowloon Cricket Club scored an easy win over the newly formed Cricket Hong Kong Independents XI.

Spinner Dan Pascoe’s 4-26 helped dimiss CHK XI for 139, Haseeb Amjad top scored with 36.

The CHK XI total was made more disappointing by the ease in which KCC picked off the runs. Kinchit Shah (53), Jamie Atkinson (40*) and Aizaz Khan (38*) helped the home side surpass the score in just the 22nd over.

Match Scores

Hong Kong CC v Pakistan Association CC:
Kowloon CC v Cricket HK XI:

Other domestic scores:

Additional reporting and image: HK Cricket Association

Women’s Rugby Shines on Super Saturday


The 2016-17 season of the Women’s Premiership kicked off with a Super Saturday showcase at King’s Park with six of the seven Premiership teams in action, including Premiership debutants City Sparkle, last year’s League and Grand Champions Valley Black and the runners-up in both competitions Gai Wu Falcons.

Last year’s top two were convincing form with muscular bonus point wins on the opening weekend. In the season’s opening match Valley dispatched CWB Phoenix 45-7 in an impressive eight try performance even though three of its top players were absent representing Hong Kong in the Asian Sevens series.

The absence of Valley’s large contingent of Hong Kong representatives, combined with a number of retirements in the off-season, has catalysed a youth movement in the Valley with numerous players called up from last year’s second side Valley Red.

“I’m really pleased with our performance today,” said Sam Feausi, the long-time Valley star, who is serving as assistant coach for the team this season. “We showed good structure despite having a few girls missing. We had seven or eight players from last year’s second team in the first side today and it’s good to see the young girls stepping up.”

Their ability to transition to Premiership level will play a decisive factor in Valley’s ability to defend its two-season long unbeaten streak once the top sides face each other.

“We are confident, but this season is going to be much more competitive. Everybody is pretty strong. All of the teams are missing their sevens girls but the results are still really convincing,” Feausi added.

Gai Wu Falcons soared to their biggest opening day victory in the day’s second match dispatching Kowloon 56-0 despite lacking four of their stars including Hong Kong captain Christy Cheng Ka-chi who were also on international sevens duty.


In the final match of the day, USRC Tigers withstood a fierce early charge from City Sparkle before overpowering the Premiership debutants 45 – 3.

Tigers coach Liu Kwok-leung said City’s intensity troubled his side early on: “They put us under a lot of pressure and it took us a while to get settled in and switched on. Their defensive line speed is good and stopped us from organising. They have good potential to compete this season.

“But eventually we settled a bit and I was pleased that we kept our structure and performed what we have been training,” Kwok added.

City coach Fung Kai-hang said, “Tigers are one of the top teams and they played well. We have set some goals for the league this season. There are games we target to win, games we target to compete in and games that we can use as a learning curve.

“This was our first Premiership match and the girls really felt the difference in intensity. It’s more confrontational and the speed and strength of the game is much better at this level, but we learned a lot today.

“We need to keep working on our set piece and the contact area. We play Football Club next and they have a big pack and will be similar to Tigers. But the girls are really positive. We gave up a lot of tries tonight but they kept working hard and going forward,” said Fung

For the full weekend’s results click here

Additional reporting and image: HKRU

Hong Kong Take on Sydney Sixers

Babar Hayat - T20 v Ireland 2016

Hong Kong will play inaugural Big Bash League champions Sydney Sixers on the 16 December at C.ex Coffs International Stadium in Coffs Harbour as part of their 10-day tour to Australia in December. The fixture means Hong Kong will now play two matches against Big Bash League teams, following last week’s announcement of a fixture against Sydney Thunder.

HK Cricket Association CEO Tim Cutler said about the game “The opportunity to play in the country, and experience country NSW life is a great opportunity for the guys and will be a great character building experience,” said Cutler. “Australia only probably got a taste of what Hong Kong has to offer with Ming Li being the Sixers community rookie last year…so this is another great chance for Australians, and especially country Australians, to see what talent there is in Hong Kong.”

The game will see many of the Sixers’ stars have their final hit out before the start of the KFC T20 Big Bash League on 20 December. “The guys are fortunate enough to be heading to Coffs Harbour which will be four days before our first BBL match,” said Sixers and Australian spinner Steve O’Keefe. “It’s vitally important that we hit the ground running and we’re at top speed at that time of year, but not only that it’s important that we get out there and showcase our skills to the local people of Coffs Harbour.

Sixers General Manager Dominic Remond commented “It is a great opportunity for our fans to experience Big Bash. It is an added bonus that our friends from the Hong Kong Cricket Association are sending their National team to play.”

Hong Kong v Sydney Sixers
Date: 6pm, 16 December 2016
Venue: C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
Tickets: Free