Richmond’s Gateway Theatre is set to launch its inaugural Gateway Pacific Theatre Festival with three contemporary Hong Kong productions presented in Cantonese with English surtitles.
First up is Detention (Aug 15-17) a non-verbal all-ages physical comedy that perhaps ironically requires no translation. The piece from Tang Shu-wing Theatre tells the story of three boys who compete for the affection of their female classmate during after-school detention, but are interrupted when their short-tempered teacher suddenly checks in on them. The cast of five includes comedians, drummers, tap dancers, xiqu (Chinese Opera) performers and a Kung Fu master.
Next, Theatre du Pif presents their poetic reflection on love, The Isle (Aug 20-22). Written by Hong Kong playwright Paul Poon, The Isle depicts one couple’s encounter on a remote island where their past and present overlap. As they ask the question “do we stay or leave?” a battle of wills unfolds that leads to a surprising and dramatic finale.
Closing the Festival is The Fire of Desire (Aug 22-24) from Perry Chiu Experimental Theatre in which ten acts of passion play out between five women and five men in a steamy show performed by two actors. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s classic play Reigen, perhaps better known by its French title La Ronde, The Fire of Desire updates the setting to present day Hong Kong and focuses on five different couples’ experiences with love, marriage, and sex. This acclaimed Hong Kong production inspired The Blue Room which starred Nicole Kidman on Broadway.
The Gateway Pacific Theatre Festival plays Richmond’s Gateway Theatre from August 15-24. Visit http://gatewaytheatre.com for tickets and information.