Review- La Verita (The Truth)- Hong Kong Arts Festival


By: Justine Denning


The Hong Kong Arts Festival is back! We are merely starting our dramatic journey in this 44th season and already its opening show is receiving three encores  from its audience.  I should know, I was one of them whistling  in delight. The spectacular show in question is La Verita from the Compagnia Finzi Pasca and let me tell you this, it was a triumph.


Prior to my viewing, I had done my own research on the company and therefore I had a mild inclination of what to expect, as quoted from the programme- the company has a 'particular method of conceiving productions, a training philosophy for the actor, acrobat, musician, dancer and technician', from this you can draw an image to your minds-eye of some kind of spectacle. I certainly did, I can assure you it is what your imagination creates and so much more. 


It is first and foremost a tribute to the artist to Salvador Dali, I am something of a novice to tribute theatre and was unsure as to how a tribute to such a surreal artist could be achieved. Once again, my ignorance became bliss as the show includes inclinations to Dali's work in colourful and scenic fashion. These nods to the artist are as subtle as the inclusion of eggs indicating some of his work such as; Metamorphosis of Narcissus (at least that was my interpretation of the occasional cylindrical egg shaped prop) and  sometimes these nods were so obtuse even I could not be accused of being fallible. For example, the occasion where a majority of the cast donned masks to convey Dali himself in an eerie yet hilarious fashion, (just the sort of impression I think Dali would have wanted).


The performers themselves are simply exhaustingly, brilliant.  I became so mesmerized (and occasionally fearful for the performers) at the breath-taking heights they could leverage themselves to perform in such a captivating fashion that I was fatigued leaving the theatre. There are dancers, music, comedy , acrobats and the performers are not just limited to one designated role, their skills were interchangeable.  For illustration, not only were they able to sing captivating opera, they were also capable of hanging from their cast members foot (whom, naturally is hanging from the roof in a wire cage whilst maintaining balance with only one hand) and still they would be enchantingly graceful. 


The lighting of La Verita is expertly shaped which enhanced the changes in direction and scenery leaving the accompanying music to be an extravaganza in itself. Mad Tristan was the focal point in the background drops, one which kept returning as an indication of what to expect in the proceedings and I found myself quickly scanning the painting and wondering what element of the art I could expect next. I adore theatre that reverberates and can waken the senses, I began to attach deeper meaning to the displays of talent, I was viewing and processing simultaneously.


I implore you watch this performance or at the very least seek out this company. You  will not be disappointed by this bright and passionate show.


La Verita (The Truth) is playing through February 22nd. For more information, click here.


Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 5.0


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