Eleven years later….

Three careers ( design, theatre, education); 

One marriage;

One divorce;

Another marriage;

A theatre company (created);

An online publication (inherited);

Countless theatre productions (acted on);

Nine theatre productions (directed);

Twenty theatre productions (produced) ;

One master degree;

Countless friendships made;

A few friendship broken (maybe they weren’t friendships after all);

Hundred thousand lessons learned; 

A few lessons that have yet to be learned;

Two cats; 

Two theatre awards;

Still no house bought; 

Several articles published;

Countless places around the world visited;

Ups and downs but overall ups. 

Eleven years ago I packed a small suitcase, left my beloved and yet stale Sydney (I only lived there for a year and few months) and headed to Hong Kong for a fashion design internship that was supposed to last for less than a year. 

Little I knew that what was waiting for me was going to be a roller coaster of people, facts, events and emotions. 
More can, and must,  be done. Let’s keep going.  

 Happy eleventh year Hong Kong anniversary to me. 

  

Is Hong Kong a cultural desert?

We all know that Hong Kong is the capital of business and the headquarter of the corporate world. It is common to hear that there is no creativity here and that anything artistic comes from abroad, particularly from the UK or the US; yet, what happens when not everybody has the ambition to become a lawyer or a banker but would rather express oneself in a more artistic or creative way?

When it comes to the performing arts, locals and foreigners get really excited at the sheer mentioning of theatrical companies across the globe making an appearance in town with big musicals and famous sellouts, but are these people aware that the same thing happens regularly and often just a few miles away?

I first came over to Hong Kong about 10 years ago (from Australia and, before that, from Europe); a local artistic theatrical scene existed back then, and a few groups were out there to make a contribution towards Hong Kong lack of local cultural events. These groups became a source of great inspirations for other artists who followed the same steps and created other artistic opportunities; most of the people we see involved in these scenes are both locally and internationally born and raised, yet all based in Hong Kong. The Third Culture Kids are in this together when it comes to contributing to the local artistic scene, making it more and more vibrant every day.  And why not? We love Hong Kong for its diversity and differences; we should aim for artistic opportunities that reflect our lifestyle and be proud of that. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to make our town believable and solid in terms of arts, but this is definitely the right path to follow; from there, it can only develop.

The month of June opened up with several theatrical English productions, as well as musical; back in the days, it would be incredibly hard to see such diversity of locally produced theatre in town. Having a little taste of Europe or America when the occasion comes is great, but let’s not forget to support local theatre happening just a few feet away from us. There are a lot of local events and talents that need our support; after all, no one likes to live in a cultural desert.

The importance of being able to W-R-I-T-E

Alright, this is not good. I am reopening this blog after a year. You hear me?? A year.

It’s not because much hasn’t happened in the meantime- uhm, quite the opposite- but I have procrastinated and have not treated this blog as a priority. What’s the point of having a blog then if one doesn’t treat it as a priority? Exactly.

We are always busy these days, we are  on the run, we have myriads of tasks to accomplish, places to be, people to meet and lists to check and yet sometimes we don’t know where our time goes. We say we don’t exercise enough, or don’t read enough or we don’t have time for a proper sit-down meal, but are we aware where time goes and how we manage it? We tend to justify everything with one word: busy. We are busy and that’s that.  Enough to clarify any situation or to answer any question. “I can’t do that/meet you/do something that takes 5 minutes of my time because I am busy. ”

People seem ok these days with that word, yet it’d be fun (and probably more interesting) if people simply started answering back:

“You are busy with what, exactly?”

That might put a halt on what is highly accepted these days and perhaps people might be a bit more considerate of others, as well as themselves.

As I realised I used the word “busy” more to cut conversations short than anything else, I decided I no longer wanted to be that person and that I wanted to be aware of where my time went. So I treated myself to a nice old-style paper weekly planner, and that’s where I write down everything (yes, including eyebrows trimming and paying bills. Why? Because I know it has to be done but if I fail to put it down visually I will forget to do it. It’s ok for the brows, but I don’t want to be cut off  on my electricity bill because I might forget about it).

It works beautifully. I have everything under control. I can actually relax with a book, schedule time for yoga and ballet classes, and accomplish work and tasks on time. Lists are nagging, but oh! the pleasure I get once they are done and I no longer have to worry about it. Highly recommended to anyone.

As in for me about not blogging, let’s face it: I did have time to blog- I just chose not to (let’s admit it…..I’m a lazy arse sometimes……)

 

 

Eight plays challenge

I am sharing the best plays I have ever read/staged/acted in.

What would your picks be?

Here are mines:

The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot (S. A. Guirgis)

Well, well, well. Those who follow Aurora Theatre will know that this is a very biased choice, but I just can’t help it!

The play is set in a corner of Purgatory where a desperate lawyer presents the case of Judas Iscariot to a courtroom. Several personalities from history (Mother Teresa, Sigmund Freud) as well as the Bible (Pontius Pilate, Satan and the various saints and apostles) step in to testify for or against Judas. The whole story is darkly comic and edgy, reexamining the fate of the ultimate sinner.

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.jpg

Glengarry Glen Ross (D. Mamet)

The brutal truth behind a long day at the office, where shark-like salesmen are willing to engage in any act (ethical or not) in order to Always Be Closing. Comedic, rough and awfully truthful.

Private Lives (N. Coward)

Can’t live together, can’t live apart. A broad view of a stormy relationship between two former spouses who realize they still have feelings for each other whilst honeymooning with their present partners. A reflective and yet hilarious comedy set in the jazz era, spiced up by the Charleston and Fox-trot.

Private Lives Theatre De Lys.jpg

The Glass Menagerie (T. Williams)

A former southern beauty lives in poverty with her two grown-up children who everyday have to bear her irritating nagging. Her world of illusion soon collapses, drifting the little that she has left of her family away. An auto-biographical piece by Tennessee Williams, who provides a perfect picture of America in the 1940’s.

The Glass Menagerie (play) 1st edition cover.jpg

The Importance of Being Earnest (O. Wilde)

Written by the king of wit, The Importance of Being Earnest describes, in a farcical and comedic way, the unwillingness of its character to obey social norms. The whole story unravels in a comedy of errors leaving the characters moved like pawns by events and fate.

The Importance of Being Earnest - Cigarettecase.jpg

Arcadia (T. Stoppard)

A wonderful story where order and disorder intertwine together, interlocking characters from the past with those from the present; witty, heartfelt and beautifully written. A fine, fine piece of contemporary theatre.

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Inherit The Wind (Lawrence and Lee)

A highly engaging piece narrating the biggest debate in society: creationism versus evolution. A charming attorney finds himself in a small town in a southern state of America to defend a teacher jailed for preaching Darwinism. A strong trial follows shortly after, questioning whether religion weighs more than the right to think.

Twelve Angry Men (R. Rose)

A jury of twelve men in America is considering a murder case. They all agree that the defendant is guilty, except for one juror who, throughout the play, leads the group towards a debate about race, the expectations of the society they live in and the troubled relationship that a father can experience between himself and his son.

Twelve Angry Men Roundabout.jpg