Most of the time when you see a show in Hong Kong you grumble about the ticket prices. This was certainly not the case tonight. Tonight I got to see a great FREE piece of NEW theatre created by local artists that was better than a lot of the stuff I've paid over 200 bucks to see. New theatre should always be celebrated because it's difficult to create from nothing. I give serious credit to the ODD Group for the hard work they put into the show tonight. Sure, I didn't like all of the pieces but I thought all of them came from valid places and were entertaining.
Let's break it down, yo. ODD was started by the fabulous, Faith Lawson who is sadly leaving Hong Kong. She strove to start a devised theatre group that could create new workshop pieces for the community. I thought Ms. Lawson's workshop overall was a success. She showed a variety of styles of theatre, had a good technician in Jenny Hann and was an excellent house manager. Everyone felt a warm embrace, got a free cup of wine and a cookie before the show. Because nothing makes a show better than a free cup of wine and a cookie!
Overall, I thought the show was good. Where I felt there could have been improvement was the arrangement of the pieces. It felt unbalanced. A lot of the really great pieces happened very early on and very close together. Some actors would appear in two scenes back to back and it would extend the scene changes in length, which to me, didn't make sense. Also, I didn't really understand why both acts ended on monologues. Overall, I felt the scene work was much stronger than the monologues and the team work element of the production really showed in the ensemble pieces. It changed the message of the show by ending the acts on singular performers. (Not to take anything away from these performers; especially the exceptional performance by Ashley Barrow to close Act One.)
Hands down, the best scene of the night belonged to the classroom scene. If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about! "Teacher! I think I broke the heart...." Bravo... David Tobin. Bravo...
There were some tech issues. One of the house lights blinded some of the audience every time the door would open to let in a late audience member during Act One. Some of the scene change music cues were left on too loud and we were unable to hear the actors speaking on stage or the opening announcement by Miss Lawson. Tiny details on what were overall a wonderful evening of theatre that didn't cost me a dollar!
Grade = A-
Take note producers! Give your audience cheap/free tickets + free cookies and you'll make them happy campers!