Preview- The Last 5 Years (rerun)- Aurora Theatre




Local company Aurora Theatre is very excited about their rerun of The Last Five Years, which will be presented at the Fringe Club from the 10th through to the 12th of November. Both the producer and director of the show, Nicole Garbellini and Marek Steenkamp, were thrilled with the result of the first run as  "People loved the story, the songs and, most importantly, they could all relate to the theme."   


The Last Five Years is a beloved musical in the theatre community written by Jason Robert Brown. It examines a marriage from two different perspectives. The male lead Jamie is a writer and the female lead, Cathy,  is a struggling actress. We watch their love come together and fall apart.


This show uses a unique form of storytelling, in which Cathy's story is told in reverse chronological order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage). Jamie's story is told in chronological order, starting from the beginning of their love story. The characters do not directly interact with each other for most of the play, making the narration unusual but edgy, and allowing the audience to imagine the story in between the songs.


The show is inspired by the real-life marriage/divorce of Brown to Broadway actress, Theresa O'Neill. After the musical's success in 2002, O'Neill threatened legal action on the grounds that the opera represented her relationship with Brown far too closely to real life. Due to the case, Brown changed the original song "I Could Be in Love With Someone Like You" to "Shiksa Goddess" to reduce the similarity between the character Cathy and O'Neill. The case was dropped, but the love of the show has never stopped, with thousands of Off-Broadway runs since 2002; indeed, it has become a staple in regional theatres. It was also recently turned into a movie with Anna Kendrick.


Hong Kong's rerun features Robert Burns and award-winning Eimar Mimi Burns, with direction by Marek Steenkamp. Coincidentally, the actors share the same last name but are not related. You might know Robert from his Heckler-nominated performance in Hairspray and other performances in musicals around Hong Kong. Eimar is relatively new to Hong Kong, yet her previous performance in TL5Y earned her an award for Best Acting. 



"Preparing for the show was an amazing experience.Bobby and I dived in head first with the music.Marek, our director, allowed us to experiment with aspects of the character we wanted to bring out so each time we added a layer of understanding and backstory to the couples' relationship." says Eimar.


Director Marek Steenkamp worked on making the show connect with audiences through the themes of young love and hope. "I think The Last Five Years is such a beloved musical because it explores issues that all people can relate to. Clearly, the show’s themes are based on the characters’ relationship with each other; however, multiple other themes are explored. The Last Five Years looks at hope, young love, desperation, fulfillment, excitement, disappointment, career vs. relationships and, most importantly, expectations."


Career vs. relationship is a theme that all Hong Kong audiences can certainly identify with, regardless of what job they find themselves in. We highly recommend that you check out this beloved musical next month at the Fringe Club.


The show will be running November 10th-12st at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available through HKTicketing and prices range from 208HKD for Fringe Club member to 260HKD for adults.  You can purchase them online or at the box office. Due to language and adult themes, the show is recommended for ages 13 and up. You can find out more information at Aurora Theatre's Facebook page and website.



The Last 5 Years is playing from November 10th-12st. For more information, click here.

To read the review, click here. 


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