"The Story After Ah Q" (Re-run), jointly produced by O Theatre Workshop from Hong Kong and the Theatre Practice from Singapore, will be staged in November. To return the work's insanity to the Hong Kong stage, multi-talented Hong Kong theatre director Olivia Yan has taken apart Lu Xun's classic "The True Story of Ah-Q" and reinvented it with subversive audacity and a razor-sharp modern perspective. The outcome is the powerful "The Story After Ah Q", presenting the modern mutated forms of Ah Q that exist today.
"The Story After Ah Q" is based on the ending of "The True Story of Ah-Q" and tells of the rise and fall of a rural town. After Ah Q is executed, rumours abound and hearts flutter in fear in the town of Weizhuang. Some shudder at the thought of Ah Q's spirit returning for revenge, while others hail Ah Q as a hero. Compared to what Ah Q was found guilty of, the villagers' greed, hypocrisy, ignorance and selfishness become worse and worse, with the self-delusion for which Ah Q was famous now the spirit of the day and conscience being chased out of the country. Another generation of "revelling demons" emerges and it promises to stay for a long time to come.
This production brings together the cream of stage talents from the Mainland, Hong Kong and Singapore, including Isabella Chiam, Hung Chit-wah and Trey Ho. It premiered at the Singapore Chinese Theatre Festival in 2011 and had a re-run in the Taipei Arts Festival last year. Underneath its light-hearted humour and lively wit, the theatre work pulls no punches at the corrupt, chaotic and consumer-oriented society of the modern world, and has scalpels ready to dissect how the human heart has become rotten.
Olivia Yan is a playwright, director, actress, teacher and writer who is renowned locally and overseas and has been invited to perform a number of her works in different Asian countries in recent years. Her recent directorial work "Wild Boar", staged in the Hong Kong Arts Festival 2012, received great acclaim in the industry. Yan strives to create quality theatre works and extend the impact of theatre to inspire and stimulate the audience to examine the value system of the modern era.
Established in 1965 by dramatist Kuo Pao Kun and Goh Lay Kuan, the Theatre Practice has etched out a pivotal and long-cherished spot in Singapore's theatre and cultural history. Through the years, they have marched forward with the strength of their bilingualism while pursuing their ideals of "Staying firmly rooted to the local, expanding our awareness of the world at large, seeking commonalities yet accepting differences, and embracing one and all in harmony". The group continually introduces classic gems, while also encouraging original creations. They strive to inject local flavour in their pieces, while also keeping themselves open to the infinite possibilities in the global arena.
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, "The Story After Ah Q" (Re-run), to be performed in Putonghua with Chinese surtitles, will be staged at 8pm on November 15 and 16 (Friday and Saturday) and at 3pm on November 16 and 17 (Saturday and Sunday) at the Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre. Tickets priced at $200 and $120 are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone 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). A maximum discount of 20 per cent is offered for group booking packages. Please refer to programme leaflets for details of the group booking discount.
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/theatre/program_347.html. For ticketing enquiries, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone booking, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings are available at www.urbtix.hk.
A post-performance talk will be held after the matinee performance on November 16.
Ends/Friday, October 4, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:45