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Reinterpretation of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" highlights play's relevance to Hong Kong politics

     A reinterpretation of Shakespeare's classic "Julius Caesar" by Hong Kong Theatre Works, which highlights the prophetic relevance of the original play in regard to the current political situation of Hong Kong, will be staged in October.

     "Julius Caesar" is a play written by William Shakespeare and based on true events from Roman history. The story begins with a soothsayer's warning for Julius Caesar - "Beware the Ides of March" - and goes on to portray the Roman senators' conspiracy against Caesar the dictator, his subsequent assassination, and the power play that ensues. Of key interest is Shakespeare's reading of human character in this famous tragedy - how a political conspiracy is abetted by a noble person whose political idealism convinces him that it is a "necessary evil", and how the masses can be easily tricked and betrayed. It's as if Shakespeare had laid down an outline of 21st century political phenomena.

     With the original play's timeless and universal truths still applying to the world today, "Julius Caesar" by Hong Kong Theatre Works therefore presents a parable on power play and an incisive portrayal of the essentials of politics with relevance for Hong Kong now. The new production, for instance, portrays the Roman senate as resembling Hong Kong's Legislative Council. The play is directed and adapted by Hardy Tsoi. The cast includes Ken Chan, Tang Wai-kit, Mac Tu, Ronald Lam, Edgar Wong, Kimmy Wong and Lily Poon.

     Hong Kong Theatre Works is a spin-off of a former cultural project of the Sir Run Run Shaw Hall of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The project, founded by Mr Tsoi, Professor Gilbert Fong and Dr Cheung Ping-kuen, hosted several seminars on Chinese and Hong Kong drama, published eight issues of the Hong Kong Drama Review and promoted theatre-in-education and its development during its existence. After the three founders' left the university, they felt it was imperative to continue with the meaningful service to the community, and founded Hong Kong Theatre Works in 2008. Hong Kong Theatre Works is a non-profit organisation that offers theatre-in-education for youth, community theatre, regular productions, artistic and cultural exchange, research and development, publications and more. The group became the venue partner of the North District Town Hall in 2012.

     "Julius Caesar" by Hong Kong Theatre Works, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be staged in Cantonese at 7.45pm on October 5 and 6 (Friday and Saturday) and at 2.45pm on October 7 (Sunday) at the Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall. Tickets priced at $180, $140 and $100 are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by telephone credit card booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

Ends/Friday, August 31, 2012


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