Hong Kong's biggest arts festival is currently underway, with more than 170 performances over five weeks by international superstars as well as local acts.
Hong Kong Arts Festival, which runs from 28 January to 8 March with
additional performances in April, kicked off with an award-winning production
of Shakespeare’s Richard III, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Kevin Spacey.
Other highlights still to come include a series by the Lyon Opera Ballet that pays homage
to three great choreographers: George Balanchine, Maguy Marin and Benjamin
Millepied (9 to 11 February), and two Handel concerts presented by The Sixteen (24 to 25 February) that
put a fresh spin on classical favourites.
In the way of more contemporary offerings, Irish
playwright Brian Friel's 1979 play The Faith Healer has been reinterpreted by
the UK's oldest theatre company, Bristol Old Vic (1 to 4 March and
6 to 8 March). Expect funky sounds from Tinariwen, a group of musicians and
singers in exile from Mali whose haunting sounds evoke the nomadic history of
North African desert dwellers (1 to 2 March).
Regional artists will also take the stage. Chinese
director Lin Zhaohua presents Of Mountains and Seas, a specially-commissioned
show using music, dance and shadow puppets to reimagine Nobel Prize-winner Gao
Xingjian's play about Chinese supernatural stories and myths (24 to 27 February).
Local playwright Wong Wing-sze examines marital strife in her play The Truth About Lying,
which closes the festival in April (19 to 22 April) along with a minimalist
production of Titus
Andronicus performed in Cantonese -- the brainchild of famed Hong
Kong director Tang Shu-wing. Titus Andronicus is the only Hong Kong show to be
invited to the World
Shakespeare Festival, held at London’s Globe Theatre from April to August
To celebrate the festival’s 40th year, festival
posters from the last four decades are on display in the foyer of the Hong
Kong Cultural Centre -- one of the city's main performing arts venues --
through 4 March.
Alberts is the Hong Kong Localite for BBC Travel