Reviews

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Review- A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood- Chung Ying Theatre24-4-16

A darkened stage. Dozens of identical chairs, row by row. Leather shoes, broken and new. Low hanging lamps casting shadows and the occasional warm pools of light. A single chair suspended from the ceiling. An amphitheatre with an atmosphere of anticipation. Welcome to John Holloways reimagining of one of Charles Dickens' most prolific texts.

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Review- John & Jen- Western District22-4-16

This endearing musical has its Asian premiere in Hong Kong's very own Fringe Club. John & Jen is based upon the lives of two siblings and their relationship, which spans through the complexity of a changing America between the 1950's and 1990's

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Review- Little Pieces- CCDC16-4-16

It is never an easy topic to talk about memory, let alone represent it on stage. Memory is incomplete; it’s fragmented; it’s missing here and there; it’s treasured but hard to recover; it appears truthful but could be deceiving; it’s everything but a solid piece that can be easily grasped and secured in your pocket.

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Review- The Illusionists- Lunchbox Productions16-4-16

Following highly lucrative and record breaking stints on Broadway and the West End, The Illusionists arrives in Hong Kong with exceedingly high expectations. Dubbed as a “High tech magical extravaganza” by The New York Times and with claims that you be left speechless, it may come across as a bit bombastic to hardened armchair magic fans.

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Review- Battlefield- Hong Kong Arts Festival21-3-16

In 1985 Peter Brook staged The Mahabharata. It was a retelling of the ancient Sanskrit poem about war, death, and the importance of family. It was an era-defining piece of theatre. It was over 9 hours long and had an artificial lake built for it. Parts of the original piece can be found on YouTube, if you have a desire to see it. Brook has revisited the poem and given it a more suitable running time for the modern audience with Battlefield.

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Review- Macbeth- Hong Kong Arts Festival20-3-16

In the accompanying programme for Tang Shu-wing's Macbeth, the director suggests that 'Shakespeare is a journey into the unknown', and that it can be. Shakespeare is rich in motifs, language and characterisation and for these reasons many productions can fall prey to the weight of Bards work. Tang Shu-wing, however, has brought a fresh approach to his production of Macbeth.

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Review- The Pianist- Hong Kong Arts Festival13-3-16

Let me start by saying this show is absolutely hilarious and must NOT be missed. If you haven’t got a ticket stop reading this (but please come back to it later), go and get yourself one. I know this is back to front, but I can’t stress to you how entertaining the show is in any other way than by saying that if I could I’d give the show an 8 out of 5.

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Review- Opus- Hong Kong Arts Festival12-3-16

The opening scene of Opus is beautifully staged. Four musicians stand in white and black. They begin playing. A black strap hangs from the ceiling and then a small girl comes out on stage and begins climbing the rope. She twists and turns. She flies through the air with the greatest of ease.

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Review- Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series- Hong Kong Arts Festival12-3-16

Every year, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Contemporary Dance Series is filled with outstanding innovative local dance pieces. Marching into the 5th year is no exception. Featuring 11 works by 12 choreographers, each piece is distinctively different from one another in every direction, offering a rich and vibrant performance series. The dance series is separated into 3 programmes, and I had the privilege of watching the second programme, featuring 4 dancers in 3 pieces of dance.

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Review- SmallWaR- Hong Kong Arts Festival6-3-16

Yesterday, I was privy to a piece of theatre that wasn't flashy or theatrical. Yes, it used modern technology to tell its story, but it did so without pretense or shock value. Valentijn Dhaenens' SmallWaR is a companion piece to his larger than life, BigMouth. SmallWaR is a subtle piece that talks about the everyday victims of war. A one man show is turned into a greek chorus through the use of video installations. Simplicity is often the sign of perfection and this is why SmallWaR was so effective in telling its tale of loss and the horrors of battle.

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