Hong Kong Repertory Theatre Announces Premiere of THE GREAT PRETENDER and More in 2020-21 Season
The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre announced on 18th May the 2020-21 theatre season. Under the theme "Discovering Theatre: A Joyful Journey", the new season includes quite a few comedies, hoping that audiences can garner wisdom and insight through laughter. Season highlights include a new work The Finale of Mr. AD, the premiere of Cantonese musical The Great Pretender, the second re-run of Le Père and Principle, A Winter Funeral by Israeli master Hanoch Levin as well as re-run of Invisible Men, and three Black Box productions: Evolution, Winter and Ashes.
"As a drama practitioner, I am deeply convinced that the theatre is the ideal space to delve into our hearts and humanity. The pandemic has forced us to change our programme lineup time and again; some original plans have also been scrapped. In light of severe restrictions on global travel, we have reluctantly cancelled this year's installment of the Hong Kong International Black Box Festival, co-presented with Freespace of the West Kowloon Cultural District. But our company will endeavour to deliver fine dramas through different media. Not only are good dramas emblems of culture at its peak, well-crafted productions exuding positive energy have the power to inspire theatregoers to contemplate. We've included quite a few comedies to share with our audience this season. While dramas and tragedies are mainly vehicles for audiences to empathize and consider different truths, comedies challenge our minds. In order to engender comedic moments, a play has to remain constantly one step ahead. Comedy can unfold in many ways, with a plethora of different types and complex dramatic structures. It is an art to generate good comic moments without resorting banality. We are committed to bringing exciting dramatic arts to audiences. Rest assured that productions cancelled this season will return in the future. I sincerely wish the pandemic will pass. I hope the new season will showcase fulfilling and fun journeys to the theatre, and as we embark on this new path, we'll discover a more scenic vista along the way." explains Artistic Director Anthony Chan.
Main Stage Productions:
Le Père - Second re-run of an award-winning theatrical gem - Memories real and imagines juxtapose as life struggles near its end
As her elderly father gradually loses his ability to live independently, Anne moves him in to live with her and her boyfriend, tending to his daily necessities. Her father, suffering from Alzheimer's disease, vacillates between a humorous disposition and states of confusion. "Reality" gradually dissolves in his mind, challenging their father-daughter relationship. Le Père is the work of one of France's most popular young playwrights, Florian Zeller, and winner of the Molière Award for Best Play. Its Hong Kong premiere in 2017 and re-run in 2019 enjoyed a 30-performance sold-out run, garnering four accolades at the 27th Hong Kong Drama Awards. The production is directed by Assistant Artistic Director Fung Wai Hang, with Director Laureate Fredric Mao reprises the title role in the second re-run, joined by original cast members Pang Hang Ying and Alice Lau with HKRep's illustrious ensemble, again summoning this intense work of drama onto the stage. (17th July to 1st August at Hong Kong City Hall Theatre.i??
Principle - A crisis at school leads to generational warfare - A local play that has stood the test of time reflects our changing times
Soon after she starts her job, a new principal establishes a host of new rules, upsetting her staff and her students. Gossip swirls that the new principal and vice principal are at loggerheads, poisoning the atmosphere. An accident involving a student leads to the popular vice principal's transfer. This angers the students, who demand that the authorities officially explain the circumstances and administer justice. A campus crisis is about to explore. Principle originated from our Reader's Theatre in 2016. It came to life on stage in our Black Box in 2017 and was later produced at the Hong Kong City Hall in 2018. Earlier this year, the production even travelled to Singapore's Huayi Festival. In the role of the vice principal, Ko Hon Man won the 2019 Shanghai One Drama Awards as Best Actor. A brilliant script and a vibrant ensemble cast recreate this hard battle of wits on stage. (25th September to 10th October 2020 at Hong Kong City Hall Theatre)
Principle's title sponsor is Shun Hing Group.
Invisible Men - Opposite philosophies of life surface at a chance encounter
A bottled-water delivery man (Sung Shui) and a courier delivery man (Shun Fung) find themselves trapped in a lift. Shun Fung longs for a short respite from work, while Sung Shui wishes to be rescued as soon as possible so he can finish his job. In this long night, as two men while away their boredom, they come face to face with opposite philosophies of life. Do these men have the right to choose their own paths? Are we aware of them as we rush about our daily lives? The premiere production of Invisible Men won not only applause and commendation, but won the Best Actor Award (Adam Tang Yu Ting) and received a Best Play nomination (Chan Siu Tung) at the 8th Hong Kong Theatre Libre. Chan Wing Chuen, who directed the premiere, collaborates with HKRep actors in bringing the story of Shun Fung and Sung Shui back to the stage. (16th to 24th October 2020 at Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre)
The Finale of Mr. AD - Art and commerce at loggerheads - A theatre company plagued with suspense
Once upon a time, there was an Artistic Director in a mid-sized theatre company...Dapper Casanova Rocky Cheung, pressured by his boss, decides to adapt a popular Japanese detective manga for the stage. This commercially-minded move unsettles the entire company, even complicating his romantic liaisons, and the whole world turns topsy-turvy. HKRep Artistic Director Anthony Chan pens and directs The Finale of Mr. AD, a whodunnit black comedy with many a surprise as we search for the culprit killing the joy of life. (5th to 19th December 2020 at Hong Kong City Hall Theatre)
The Finale of Mr. AD is sponsored by Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd.
The Great Pretender - a musical - In a world of injustice, wrong is right and right is wrong
Fong Tong Geng, Guangdong's most prominent advocate, is known for his greed and malice. But at the height of his career, heaven deals him a blow and his reputation and wealth are lost overnight. Haunted by the bitter ghost of a childhood friend, Fong fights his way back to the magistrate to right his wrongs and redeem himself as the champion of the common man. Commissioned by Freespace, and co-presented and co-produced by HKRep and Freespace, The Great Pretender - a musical is composed by Leon Ko, with lyrics by Chris Shum, written by Cheung Fei Fan and directed by Fong Chun Kit. (January 2021. Advance booking discounts do not apply to The Great Pretender - a musical. More details to follow.)
The Great Pretender - a musical's title sponsor is China Everbright Limited and sponsored by Friends of Caritas.
A Winter Funeral - A funeral clashes with a wedding - Precipitating an escapade crossing mountains and seas
Middle-aged bachelor Lajeck is beholden to his mother's final wish that all members of her family attend her funeral. Yet the funeral clashes with his cousin's wedding, resulting in his aunt and her family doing everything they can to avoid the others: climbing up on their roof, dashing across a beach, even climbing the Himalayas to escape from Lajcek's hot pursuit. This 1978 classic by Israeli master Hanoch Levin has been translated into many languages and staged around the world. The Hong Kong production of A Winter Funeral is translated and directed by Weigo Lee. (13th to 27th March 2021 at Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre)
Black Box Productions
In the middle of the night, a husband accompanies his wife to the airport for a business trip to America. During the ride, the driver triggers a heated argument between them about the future of their offspring. The couple had innocently believed that having migrated to Beijing, their son would naturally become a native Beijinger. All three decide to take a big leap of faith, turning everything on its head along the way. Evolution is written by Beijing playwright Gu Lei. This story's fast clip and biting dialogue invite the audience to ringside seats in witnessing the birth and demise of a one-of-a-kind "species". A theatrical experience not to be missed! (16th to 25th July 2020 at HKRep Black Box)
HKAPA MFA Directing Graduate Thesis Project: Winter
A man and a woman meet by chance in a windswept park. His clothes are neat, while hers are ragged. The chill catalyses their mutual attraction; they hope to establish a connection, yet can't seem to break through. Does this encounter bring them comfort or underpin their loneliness? Jon Fosse, praised as Norway's new Ibsen, etches the intimacy and alienation between human beings with a poetic touch. Following the success in directing The Man Next Door and The Office, HKRep company member Yau Ting Fai returns to helm this play about the tenuous relationships of urban dwellers. (4th to 19th September 2020 at HKRep Black Box)
Ashesi??The Open Platformi??
Tracy returns at last, co-founding an independent news organization with like-minded colleagues with faith in freedom of information, providing the public with objective and unbiased news. Labour strife breaks out in a public works construction site. As Tracy delves deep in her investigation, she realises the closer she gets to the truth, the more precarious her situation. She can't forget the past; friendships are broken and people part ways. All alone, can she safeguard her own convictions? (29th January to 7th February 2021 at HKRep Black Box)
Advanced booking is available from 21st May 12:00nn till 4th August 2020, offering up to 30% discount, for the best seats available in the house. The new season brochure is distributed through URBTIX, also available on www.hkrep.com/2021. Subscription programme enquiry: 3103 5900.