Review: Hong Kong Three Sisters

Baxter Theatre Centre
The Space Triplex, 10-12th August 2017
3 Stars (3 / 5)

After a superfluous prologue, Alice Theatre Laboratory launch into this contemporary experiment drawing on source material from Chekhov’s classic The Three Sisters. The performance is a mixed bag. The Cantonese forms of physical theatre are a point of curiosity and there are some great performances such as the moving scene where one character declares every word of devotion to another only for her to tearfully ask him to stop, before begging him to continue.

The second half spirals into some kind of post-modern skit show where various aspects of Hong Kong culture are explored through the lives of acted actors who are meant to be acting in the production. How has the acting industry in Hong Kong adapted to the difficulties of making a living in the arts today? Perhaps one should start a podcast as a side-hustle. There is a commentary on the history of Hong Kong. Some of these segments are more entertaining to others.

The greatest drawback which makes it hard to judge the performance favourably is the choice to put English subtitles to the extreme left and right of the stage make it impossible to follow the action and comprehend the dialogue at once. This seems an especially pronounced directorial error given that there is an overhead projection at the back of the stage which would have served perfectly finely.