Category Archives: Culture

War Horse @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

Whilst it sometimes seems that the only major touring theatrical productions we get in Hong Kong are big-budget musicals and kids’ shows, War Horse makes a winning case for why great live drama deserves to be brought here and celebrated too.

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Mamma Mia! @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

Dust off those dungarees, folks – Mamma Mia! is back in town.

I have to admit, my views on Mamma Mia have softened over the years. Whilst I have always wholeheartedly adored ABBA’s music (and if you cannot bring yourself to recognise its genius, we need to have words), I used to find the musical too thin, too cheesy, too ridiculous to be worthy of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ gold-plated songbook. But then I got over myself, the world went to hell in a handcart, and I suddenly found myself loving Mamma Mia for exactly all the reasons that I side-eyed it in the first place.

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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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