Tag Archives: city hall

La voix humaine | Toneelgroep Amsterdam

HK City Hall Theatre (HK Rep International Black Box Festival 2016) | April 2016

Hong Kong Rep’s Black Box Festival kicks off without a hint of irony, presenting a show on City Hall’s proscenium stage: an adaptation of Cocteau’s monodrama, La voix humaine, directed by the internationally renowned Ivo van Hove. It is an enormous privilege to see van Hove’s work presented here in Hong Kong, especially for those in the theatre field (who seemed to comprise the majority of the audience.)

Van Hove’s choice of material appears to echo Cocteau’s own choice in writing the original piece: an attempt to return to the simplicity and purity of a performer in front of an audience. Van Hove mentions in the programme:
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Attempts on Her Life | Hong Kong Rep

July 2014 | City Hall, Hong Kong

After the last performance I reviewed by Hong Kong Repertory Theatre (Wait Until Dark) it is hard to imagine anything more different than this ambitious attempt at Martin Crimp’s Attempts on Her Life. In contrast to the painfully conservative naturalism of Wait Until Dark, Attempts on Her Life comes across as genuinely progressive in the context of Hong Kong’s theatrical landscape.

The text is challenging and fractured; a collection of prose-poem vignettes about an elusive Anne/Ania/Annie/Annushka (etc.) who can be anything from a terrorist to a type of car. It is easy to interpret it as a criticism of the media’s power of manipulation of an image, but it is more than that. The mutliplicity of stories being told reflects the postmodernist approach to narrative, and it deconstructs the notion of identity as well as image, taking cues from Baudrillard. Further, from a postmodernist perspective, to perform this is a rejection of the need for the arc of Aristotelian drama in the theatre; an enormous step forward for Hong Kong. The programme mentions Hans-Thies Lehmann, Heiner Müller (spelt wrong), Robert Wilson, Tadeusz Kantor, Richard Schechner (spelt wrong), The Wooster Group and Forced Entertainment; it is clear that they have done their research (if not their proofreading) and their hearts are in the right place to make something innovative and postdramatic.
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