Tag Archives: theatre

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

showstopper the improvised musical hong kong

If you like laughing and you like musicals (in which case, hey, we should be friends!), then you need to go see Showstopper! The Improvised Musical stat.

Much like a round of Catchphrase, it’s pretty much say what you see regarding the show’s premise – a whole new musical improvised every night based on suggestions from the audience, encompassing everything from the setting, title and plot to musical theatre genres and song styles. Think Whose Line Is It Anyway meets one of those Andrew Lloyd Webber reality TV competitions and you’re almost there… except even funnier.

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Tap Dogs @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

tap dogs hong kong

Call it a childhood spent watching far too many MGM musicals, but the sound of tap dancing does something strange to me inside. No, not that kind of strange (get your minds out the gutter, people!), but there’s just something somehow stirring about the pitter-patter of tap shoes that I just can’t get enough of.

Well, there are pitter-patters in abundance at Tap Dogs, the award-winning show by Australian choreographer Dein Perry, which has been going strong for 20 years and has now arrived at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. Except forget “pitter-patters” and think more “bloody massive stomps”, because this is tap dancing with the testosterone factor.

tap dogs hk

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Starlight Express @ Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts review

starlight express hong kong

Sick of pedestrian productions ruling the roost in Hong Kong? Well, how about a musical where the entire 30-strong cast spends the whole duration of the show on roller skates?

Yes, Starlight Express has sped its way into the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts – and if you’ve never seen Andrew Lloyd Webber’s most innovative musical before, you’re in for one hell of a ride.

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Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil at AsiaWorld-Expo review

michael jackson immortal world tour

Everyone loves a bit of Michael Jackson, right? The question is – do you love him quite enough to sit through two hours of Cirque du Soleil flinging themselves around to his records?

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour rolled into Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld-Expo last week – and the overriding feeling was of watching a concert where the star performer had gone AWOL. Talented backing singers, a bombastic live band, acrobatic teams of dancers and spectacular production values… Cirque du Soleil brought it all (save an actual narrative – no surprise there then), yet none of it could disguise the gaping charisma vacuum at the centre of the show.

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Detention @ Hong Kong Arts Centre review

detention hong kong

One of the things that has fallen by the wayside since my move to Hong Kong are my trips to the theatre. Back in the UK, I would probably go see a show at least once a month – now I’m lucky if it’s more than once a year! Joining a list that includes Magnums, fish and chips and grass, it probably is one of the things I miss the most about my life in England; for me, there’s no beating that magical feel of live theatre done right and sharing that experience with a captive audience.

I’ll save the debate over Hong Kong’s perceived lack of culture for some other time (however, if Annie does come here again, I will cry) but often, I’ll read about what sounds like a really interesting production… only to then see the words ‘In Cantonese’. Boo. So when I read about Detention, a homegrown original production enjoying its fourth run in Hong Kong (which had also done a successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and saw the magical words ‘non-verbal’, I was in there like a flash!

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Dirty Dancing @ Hong Kong Cultural Centre review

dirty dancing hong kong

Despite being dragged along to see Chicago, Grease and even High School Musical Live with me, my boyfriend point blank refused to come watch Dirty Dancing. ‘I just don’t think it will be very good,’ he said… and it pains me to say that he might just be right.

Does Dirty Dancing really require any introduction? The film, telling the coming-of-age romance between Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and dance teacher Johnny Castle, is nothing short of a cult – and now, with its stage adaptation flying high after a successful run in the West End, the cult has come to the Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre.

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Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap @ HKAPA review

It has been a long-time dream of mine to go see Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, the longest running play in the world ever, in the West End. Given I have now upped sticks and moved to Hong Kong, this ambition was seeming ever more unlikely… but luckily for me, a production decided to come over here to the HKAPA instead!

I say ‘luckily’ but actually I’m now not too sure. This 60 Year Diamond Anniversary touring show by Lunchbox Productions (the chief stagers of global productions in Hong Kong, including Grease and Chicago) turned out to be rather average with precious little West End sparkle – and now I know ‘whodunit’, if I should ever make it back to the British original in St Martin’s Theatre, it just wouldn’t be quite the same as seeing it for the first time.

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