There is certainly a plethora of Italian theatre in Hong Kong this weekend. Audiences have a choice of Filumena presented by The Italian Chamber of Commerce and Stylus Theatre or they could attend FM Theatre Power's production of Accidental Death of an Anarchist by Dario Fo. Surprisingly both going down in the HK Arts Center in Wanchai!
Mo from FM Theatre Power was kind enough to translate the program for me and give me some background info on their rehearsal process before I came. Many thanks! I'm a big fan of their work since I saw Kitty Hunter last year. (It was the their some what controversial production where the murderer stuffed severed heads of prostitutes into Hello Kitty stuffed animals...) Because that's what HK serial killers do, la!
Before you go to FM Theatre Power's Production you should know that they are a more experimental group than others in town. They really stress the agit in the agit-prop style of this kind of theatre. You will might need to have a drink before hand and leave the children and elderly at home! They are aggressive, loud and very in your face. (Which is what I like in theatre!!!) You must be prepared to be screamed at when you step into the house. I enjoy political theatre so it's right in my wheelhouse as an audience member. This production of Accidental Death was performed in a more political theatre style rather than the classical satire style that I have seen Fo performed in. Different but not bad. One of the audience members was a theatre professor from the APA and did not like it for the fact that it was so different than a traditional Fo. I liked it because it was different. Opinions are great because everyone has one and they can all be completely different!
Accidental Death was performed in Cantonese, but I have read this play before so I know the story quite well. I am also a huge Fo fan so I wanted to see how his work translates to a Chinese Performer. FM wanted to do parallels between the play and the futures of Hong Kong. It was set in Hong Kong in 2017.
Design wise it was well conceived. I really enjoyed the lighting. I liked the acid rock feel to it.
I thought the costume and scene design were simple but well executed. Characters were easily identifiable. They were whimsical enough for a Fo piece and had some elements of the absurd to them. It flowed very well as a show. Good use of the space by Director, Indy Lee. I'm not sure if Indy did the choreography or not but kudos to whom ever did it. The fight choreography was hilarious and some of the best I have seen in HK in a very long time.
Acting wise it was very loud. They certainly yelled a lot, which was to be expected from previous shows I have seen performed by this group. The physical prat was well executed but I would have loved to have seen some moments of subtlety within the piece. If everything is at volume 11 then it becomes a blur to me as an audience member. All the actors were funny and had great gestures. I didn't find a weak member in the cast. I understood where they were coming from despite my lack of Cantonese. Special Kudos to the older cast members for still being able to move that fast and have that level of flexibility at their age! I can't do some of that stuff and I'm in my 20's!!! I LOVED MOK AUGUSTINE! I also liked the non-traditional casting with women cast in parts that are typically cast as males. I love gender neutral casting in theatre.
A good political piece! If you enjoy agit-prop then you will enjoy Accidental Death.
Tickets are still available and it is performing through June 24th at the Shouson Theatre in Wanchai! 280, 180 and 140hkd. I would not recommend this piece for children under 16 or sensitive grandmas due to content.
You can also find out more about FM Theatre Power on their facebook page