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Fredric Mao Will Direct August Strindberg's ROAD TO DAMASCUS at Hong Kong Repertory Theatre

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Road to Damascus is an iconic work charting the playwright’s creative transition from Naturalism to Expressionism.

Fredric Mao Will Direct August Strindberg's ROAD TO DAMASCUS at Hong Kong Repertory Theatre

The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre's most highly-anticipated production of the season is Road to Damascus by Swedish playwright August Strindberg, specially selected by HKRep Director Laureate Fredric Mao who will direct this landmark masterpiece, marking the first time the company presents Strindberg on stage.

Road to Damascus is an iconic work charting the playwright's creative transition from Naturalism to Expressionism. In this play, reality and dreamscapes share a tenuous borderline, the story unfolding with an encounter-perhaps real, perhaps imagined-portraying the struggle of the human soul and the road to self-discovery.

Road to Damascus is written by August Strindberg, adapted and directed by Fredric Mao, translated by Tang Sai Cheong, with Lin Kehuan as literary advisor and Fung Wai Hung as assistant director. Chris Sun leads the cast, with Louisa So as Guest Leading Cast and Amy Wu as Special Appearance along with HKRep company members. The local theatre scene eagerly anticipates this Hong Kong premiere that will surely push the boundaries of our horizons. Preview performances run from 18th to 20th September and the production officially opens on 22nd September and ends on 7th October at the Hong Kong City Hall Theatre. Tickets are available now from POPTICKET and URBTIX outlets.

Road to Damascus is about the Stranger (played by Chris Sun) who is bestowed with talent and riches, yet he finds himself all alone facing the void. As if predestined, he meets a married woman (played by Louisa So) and they begin a torrid affair. But her husband has long been his sworn enemy. When all is said and done, does redemption or catastrophe await him? Told from the personal perspective, Road to Damascus chronicles a journey of self-discovery epitomizing the struggle between man and fate, love, religion and his own ego, laying bare the protagonist's ups and downs as he refuses to let himself go.

Swedish playwright August Strindberg originally made his name as a proponent of Naturalism, but after a series of personal experiences, his style transformed and he became a pioneer of European Expressionism, adept at conjuring a fantastic milieu with monologues that alienate, in settings where imagination and dreamscape are suspended in the grey area between reality and illusion. Strindberg's theatrical approach in plumbing the human psyche influenced the development of theatre throughout the entire 20th century.

Renowned filmmaker Ingmar Bergman once described Road to Damascus as "a thrilling voyage in discovery of a spiritual landscape". Adaptor and director Fredric Mao employs a modern theatrical approach in staging this century-old classic. He states, "Although tradition can hold its own, new reinterpretations can further enhance its contemporary influence. Modernity always needs tradition for nurture, so that a work can sustain its power to continue to develop. In our material world today, I want to offer Hong Kong with a token of thanks, directing a work anew, delving into the individual's inner values in the search of a better humanity."

Expressionist dramas emphasise characters' inner self and psychological journey, encouraging theatregoers to use their spiritual eye to examine their surroundings. In contrast to Naturalism that depicts external, realistic details (e.g., language and action), Expressionism dwells in psychological details, searching for the reality hidden beneath. The theatrical experience presents images, either visual or aural, that can be externalised in their interpretation by the audience.

On the occasion of Road to Damascus, a new production directed by Fredric Mao marking his 50-year stage career, the HKRep presents a special exhibition chronicling Mao's achievements and contributions as director, educator, actor and researcher, on display at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Foyer from 11th to 24th September.

Tickets now available at POPTICKET.HK and URBTIX


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