Review-ELDORADO(HK)!- Not So Loud


By: Meaghan McGurgan

On Saturday afternoon I went to a play reading presented by Not So Loud Theatre company of 2 new one act plays written from the Chinese perspective. Wolf in the House by Simon Wu was about 2 men being trapped in an apartment during a T8 during the Hungry Ghost Festival. Rosaline Ting's Journeys was about two Chinese mothers who journey back to their motherland to discover who they are. Play readings are always an interesting experience for an audience member. You can find out an author's intentions, hear new work being read and ask questions at the end.

I had high hopes for Wu's Wolf in the House as it had an interesting premise. However, I found the piece to be a bit confusing. Part of this was because the director chose not to read the stage directions aloud. Part of this was because there was a transformative element in one of the characters and without some staging it was confusing to know when or for what purpose this was happening. And a large reason we were confused was poor pronunciation and projection from one of the actors. I really struggled to understand some of the lines in this play due to casting. My big question at the end of this reading was: if Ming wants to leave the apartment so badly why doesn't he just get up and open the door himself? What's stopping him?

Journeys was overall a much more solid script than Wolf in the House. Having simple staging and sound effects really helped present Ting's work to us for the first time. I thought it was a great little script: inexpensive to produce, easy to cast as it's only 2 female characters and it tells a great story. The use of Chinese terminology was just about right. As expats living in HK, we all have a basic knowledge of some Cantonese words like "aiya!" Journeys explores the Chinese Mother in a sensitive way that makes us take a second look at the tiger mother as more than overbearing parent. These two versions of the tiger mother were new and interesting to watch.

I hope to see fully staged versions of these scripts in the near future.

Each ELDORADO(HK)! playreading was a one time performance. For more information, click here.


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