Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Artist of the Month- November- Giles Burton

Our November Artist of the Month is Giles Burton. He is the Artistic Director of the HK Microfest. You can see his work later this month with Address Unkown, Nov 22 - 26 at 8.00pm, Nov 27 (Sun) at 3:00pm at the McAuley in Wanchai!
You can get more info about the microfest and Giles' work in HK at

1. Name, Birthplace, Age
Giles Burton, Kent UK, Aged

2. How does where you were raised affect your work?
I was brought up just outside London, but my main interest was not West End, rather the National and RSC which meant I got to see a huge range of varied and high quality work which wasn't trapped into having to be hugely commercially successful. In theatre terms I was also raised by working as an SM in rep theatre around the UK, getting a chance to work with and see many different styles and shows.

3. Where did you train?
Originally Middlesex Poly in Technical theatre and lighting design then Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in directing.

4. What is your favourite style of theatre? Why?
Actually I'm really eclectic. I think as a HK director I'm seen as text based but in the past I've done plenty of physical theatre, music based work, even opera. The one element I really like is narrative. Microfest was developed to bring a range of work to HK, so we've had Rap versions of Chaucer, pure physical theatre, clown work as well as classics.

5. What was the best show you EVER saw?
Probably one that sounds incredibly boring. A three hour, one man show about Russian soldiers locked in a monastery cell by the German army as they retreated, and ending up cannibalising each other. Everything screams dull, dull, dull but the performance was incredibly gripping.

6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw? (You cannot say your own.)
Slightly cheating I'm going for "Adolf" which Microfest brought to HK in 2009

7.What piece of work are you the most proud of? (please include photo, if possible)
The original Microfest in 2009, bringing in four very diverse and really great shows.

8. What is your process like?
When working on text based plays I divide the time in three roughly equal parts; Firstly sitting around a table with actors taking the text apart in detail, secondly an initial blocking and thirdly going back over the whole thing in detail.

9. What is your dream project?
A large sale, site-specific piece combing text, movement and music, possibly with some lighting/projection work. Probably based on Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas". We've looked at it a couple of times, but never found a practical way of doing it in HK.

10. If you could change one thing about the art scene in HK, what would it be?
Venues. A well run 200 seater venue near central - say in the Police Station complex. Failing that getting the government to understand how the arts can vitalise a country.

I personally want to thank Giles for getting his survey back to me so quickly... I do wag my finger at him for his number 6 answer. If you have shows coming up, being a featured artist of the month is a great way to promote them and brand yourself. Please contact me if you wish to be featured, like our lovely Giles.

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