Play: Hong Kong Theatre - Romance with China
11 – 23 January 2007
Exhibition Hall, Low Block, Hong Kong City Hall
Jointly organized by Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies
The history of Chinese drama started in 1907 with La Traviata and Uncle Tom's Cabin staged by Chunliu Troupe, a drama company set up by a number of Chinese intellectuals in exile after the coup of 1898 and Chinese students in Tokyo, Japan. Members of the troupe returned to China not long afterwards to sow the seeds for the development of "modern plays" or "civilized drama" in China. In response to the social and political needs, the emerging art of modern drama gradually integrated with the May Fourth New Cultural Movement from 1919 onwards. Meanwhile, the development of drama in Hong Kong was fueled by the arrival of theatrical companies and artists from the Mainland, as well as the patriotic movement to save China from Japanese invasion. After the war, local theatre art trod a unique path and went through several phases of progress, until it flourished into the kaleidoscope of talents and colours we see today.
This exhibition was a joint effort of the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies and the Hong Kong Museum of History to mark the 100-year development of Chinese drama in parallel with the 6th Chinese Drama Festival. Through text, photos, exhibits, multimedia shows and special settings, the exhibition covered the evolution of drama and drama companies in Hong Kong, and reviewed the Chinese famous plays preformed by the local troupes in the past years.