Hk Rep took on David Lindsay Abaire's Rabbit Hole this weekend. They had to add extra shows because the show sold out so fast so I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. Abaire's script is about the after effects of losing a child. I have read the play before and seen the (terrible) movie with Nicole Kidman; so I didn't need to have surtitles as I remembered what was going to happen. I always make sure to re-read shows before I see them in a foreign language. It's very a interesting experience to see plays in a language you don't understand, it makes you wonder about how to show has changed in the translation process.
The scenery, lighting and costume designs for Rabbit Hole were excellent. The show was staged at the Shouson in Wanchai and the lighting/scenery allowed the space to be used and the intimate feelings of the show to remain. I loved the use of pastels in the design choices to give the environment, a child like appearance. It was a dreamy/relaxing design scheme that helped contrast against the dark passages in the text.
Louisa So played Becca with emotion, subtlety and put on a truly heart breaking performance. I couldn't understand most of the words she was saying but they way she said them and the emotion put behind words translated into any language. The way she said the kids name every time was different and emotionally charged. You could feel the difficulty in even speaking the name of a child that has died.
Poon Chan Leung put on a good performance of Howie although I felt some of his mannerisms were too large and feminine for the character that is supposed to be the rock in the relationship. I think it may be a stylistic choice is Cantonese performances to use over dramatic gestures but I personally felt it didn't belong in this production. I thought both actors played well off of each other and the production elements really helped define the relationship between the two.
Easily, one of the best designed shows this year. The design team should be very proud of their hard work, it really showed and was a beautiful backdrop to such a sad story.