Category Archives: Culture

Priscilla Queen of the Desert @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

The second that three divas descended from the ceiling belting out It’s Raining Men, I knew that Priscilla Queen of the Desert was going to be my kind of show.

Adapted from the 90s Aussie film starring Guy Pearce, Hugo Weaving and Terrence Stamp into a jukebox stage musical, Priscilla tells the story of two drag queens and a transgender woman’s journey across the Australian outback, and all the adventures (i.e. excuses for massive song-and-dance numbers) they encounter along the way.

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The Play That Goes Wrong @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

If you’re in desperate need of a laugh right now (and let’s face it, the way 2017 is going, who isn’t?), then get yourself down to see The Play That Goes Wrong stat.

This Olivier-winning, Edinburgh Fringe-to-West End-to-Broadway runaway hit represents farce in its purest form –it’s very silly, but very very funny. Taking the format of a play within a play, it sees amateur dramatic company Cornley Polytechnic attempting to stage a production of a (made-up) 1920s whodunit, The Murder At Haversham Manor. Murder mystery parodies and am-dram theatrics might be pretty easy comedy targets, and the slapstick is done with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer… but who cares when it is this much fun?

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Wicked @ Hong Kong Academy Of Performing Arts review

wicked-hong-kong

It’s been a while since I got goosebumps in the theatre… So enter Jacqueline Hughes as Elphaba in Wicked to deliver a whole year’s worth of them in one night.

It’s over a decade since Wicked, the smash hit musical based on a novel reimagining the events of The Wizard of Oz, first debuted on Broadway – which of course, means it’s only now arriving in Hong Kong for the first time. It tells the story of how Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West became well, wicked and it’s probably not much of a spoiler to say she wasn’t really that wicked at all… just you know, misunderstood, except with green skin (actually created using MAC eyeshadow, fact fans).

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Swan Lake On Ice by The Imperial Ice Stars @ Hong Kong Cultural Centre review

If you’ve ever found ballet a little bit (whisper it) boring, then have I got the show for you – Swan Lake On Ice.

Yep, if the average pointe work on solid ground never struck you as being quite challenging enough, the introduction of frozen water and blades about 4mm in thickness should do the trick nicely!

Joking aside, The Imperial Ice Stars’ production of Swan Lake On Ice is exactly the kind of show that the word “spectacle” was invented for. Taking Tchaikovsky’s original much-loved score and transferring the action to an ice rink is a move bound to outrage more than a few ballet purists – but when Odette (Olga Sharutenko) actually takes flight during the swooningly romantic dance between her and Prince Siegfried (Bogdan Berezenko), it feels like something straight out of a fairy tale.

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The Illusionists @ Hong Kong Cultural Centre review – it’s a kind of magic

The Illusionists Hong Kong

Do you believe in magic?

These days, I’m not sure anyone over the age of 8 really does – and thankfully so if it means women no longer get burnt at the stake for crimes like being too old, too young or having a mole in the wrong place. But with a show like The Illusionists, it sure as hell is fun suspending your disbelief for two hours to live in a world where magic just might be a real thing.

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Singin’ In The Rain @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

Singin In The Rain Hong Kong

You know a musical is made out of special stuff when it turns a source of misery – namely, a thundering relentless downpour – into something of total undiluted delight.

Singin’ In The Rain is one of my favourite films, let alone musicals, of all time, and it’s with some trepidation that I approach any stage adaptation of MGM’s glorious Gene Kelly vehicle. So I’m happy to report that Lunchbox Productions’ version of the Chichester Theatre revival, which plays in Hong Kong until 25 October 2015, is a dazzling shot of endorphins straight to the heart.

Singin In The Rain HK

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La Soirée @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

La Soiree David O'Mer Bath Boy

I sit typing this review slumped in bed… and if it’s a good day, slumped in bed is exactly where I’ll stay!

However, a night at La Soirée – the Olivier award-winning, Edinburgh Fringe alumni of a show that’s in Hong Kong for just eight performances – was a reminder of just how amazing the human body can be… you know, when it’s not slumped in bed watching old episodes of The Apprentice and stuffing Oreos into its mouth.

A raucous blend of circus and cabaret, the show features around a dozen acts all with different specialities, from comedy to contortionism and just about everything in-between – with the overall effect being something like the Royal Variety Show as presided over by Graham Norton (now there’s a TV show idea!).

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