Reviews by July Yang

Someone Else (Hong Kong Version) | Ant Hampton

West Kowloon Cultural District | February - March 2016

White Rubble on a White Chair

Being among the audience in Ant Hampton’s autoteatro piece Someone Else (Hong Kong Version) was a detached experience. For such a particular theatre form that opens up the boundaries between real and staged experience for the audience, there should be more to take away than a smartphone app.

The term autoteatro consists of the words “auto”(as in “automobile” and “automatic”) and “teatro”(“theatre” in Spanish/Italian etc.). The use of this term to describe this form of theatre first appeared in 2007 under the title Etiquette, created by Ant Hampton and Silvia Mercuriali (Rotozaza). In Hampton’s own words:
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Invisible Men | Hong Kong Repertory Theatre

HK Rep Black Box Theatre | April 2016

Please sign here for your delivery of an insignificant life

For the Chinese version of this article, please go to IATC.

At the place I work, we get three or four large bottles of drinking water delivered weekly. They get delivered just outside our office’s back door the day after my colleague makes the weekly order. The door isn’t very soundproof, so occasionally I hear the cling-clang of the plastic bottles and cargo lift groaning as they come and go – but never the noise of the delivery guy. There are often express packages delivered to the office too. But again, they remain anonymous to me; even those few faces which keep reoccurring. Goods ordered from a distance need delivering, but consumers only see the objects they buy instead of the hands delivering them, let alone the owner of those pairs of overworked hands. Such a two-way reification in which objects are subjectified while subjects are objectified is the reality depicted in the recent local production Invisible Men, written by Chan Siu Tung and directed by Chan Wing Chuen.
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Electronic City (Director’s Cut) | On-and-On Theatre Workshop

June 2015 | Cattle Depot Theatre, Hong Kong

When rationality and man-made order overwhelm our capacity for control…
When connection and information deform into a suffocating sticky web that we can hardly bear…
Every individual collapses into a critical mass of mechanisation and a black hole of desire…
And the outlines that define such “individuals” become only grotesque fluctuations in the system…

Such is the depiction of our modern digitalized society in the mad world of Electronic City (Director’s Cut). In this Falk Richter play, philosophical discussion and allegation appear nakedly, as if some conference on cultural criticism had wandered into the Cattle Depot Theatre. But it is not at all out of place here: the whole play tries to find resonance between these seemingly scholarly and distant ideas and its audience in a Theatre-of-Cruelty exhaustive way, in the hope of distilling its enervating representation of the humming, hustling hubbub of our current digitalized world and pushing it to the extreme.

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“Alone” | Hong Kong Repertory Theatre

July 2015 | Hong Kong Repertory Theatre Black Box

I didn’t expect it to be a comedy…

“Alone” is a beautiful production, which magically and organically transformed the HK Rep Black Box Theatre into a… I was about to say “brain,” because of its impressive spectacle, which was also throbbing with freshness and blood. The two actors were enough to occupy the whole stage with their virtuosity and energy, combined with masterful ease. A bare stage, minimal props; but with the wonderfully executed pacing, the one and half hours’ running time seemed to pass without my noticing.
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