Preview- Hamelin- Drama School Hong Kong




December is the month of festivities, family gatherings, celebrations and events, especially sweet ones. Among the various things that will grace and entertain Hong Kong, we are looking forward to the latest project by Drama School Hong Kong, Hamelin.


Started out as a training programme for children between the ages of 10 – 18, Drama School Hong Kong soon evolved more and more into a professional production company with a training flair. The group goes beyond the standard of acting and performance classes by giving children an opportunity to experience the professional theatre industry at first hand. It’s also at the heart of DSHK company to produce good and appealing shows for the audiences of Hong Kong.  



Vincent Warren, Artistic Director, had been following the events unfolding in Europe, most recently the UK, and saw parallels with the themes in the Pied Piper. It seemed to him that what lay at the heart of The Pied Piper story - and also the stories of the real life situations portrayed across recent media coverage - was a vision of children facing the effects of decisions made by adults. "These decisions not only drastically alter their present situation but also seriously affect the future of young people too, the world that they inherit", he said.


The company talked about the refugee crisis and the plight of those less fortunate than themselves.  Out of that came the idea of making refugee children the storytellers, of giving a voice to those who are typically ignored or at best pitied by most.  


However, the play is not all doom and gloom and is driven by the incredible energy of youth, filled with music, humour and hope. The atmosphere in it can be gleaned from the eclectic mix of musical numbers, taking the audience on a fantastic journey from Brecht to ABBA to Timberlake. There is also an opportunity for other young people to be part of the performance! Contact for details.


DSHK values collaboration at the heart of everything and each company member is integral to the process. The company works as an ensemble, and all work is born out of that environment. Hamelin’s core production members are no strangers to creating work for young people.  There’s Director Vincent Warren, choreographer Ralion Alonso,  technical director Dean Lea, and set designer Lymari Alberts. Together they create a platform where young theatre-makers can be involved with both the performance as well as the technical and designing side of  Hamelin.  Led by the experts, children will build Hamelin’s set and operate the lighting and sound of the production themselves.  The combination of professional theatre-makers and a bunch of young creatives promises an inventive theatrical explosion!


The cast has sixteen members ranging from 9 – 15 years and, as designer Lymari Alberts says, "it is brilliant to see them work together. With each new project, they develop a deeper sense of belonging and investment in their work. There is constant laughter throughout; sometimes this can slow down rehearsals to a halt, but it balances out all the hard work and commitment too. Probably the most memorable moment so far is when the remote-controlled rats, of which there are around twenty, were introduced to the rehearsals. The screams could be heard from the streets below."



Now that would have been a great scene to film and use it in a promo video!

When sharing thoughts about the theatre scene in Hong Kong, the team agrees that is no doubt vibrant and made up of many talented and passionate individuals, producing some great work. However, it sometimes lacks a collaborative spirit, which is at the core of any successful creative process. "Vincent created DSHK to introduce the young creative talents of the future to the tools of stage work,  to achieve a truly flourishing and sustainable performing arts environment".
Among the company's future projects there are The Adventures of Bruno, the Bear: What Else Do Bears Do in the Woods? By Vincent Warren, a show for both children and adults. 
Inspired by actual events, it follows the capers of a bear recently released into the wild from captivity and his quest to reach the champion's podium of the world whistling competition. 


Auditions will be held for both adult and child actors in early 2017 and performances will be June 2017.
Of course we look forward to hearing more all about (and we are advising our readers to stay indeed tuned), however, after this interview, we just can't wait for Hamelin to hit the stage!

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