I saw my first show at the age of four. It was this really creepy Commedia D’ell Arte-style production of Pinnochio at a neighbour’s school. I absolutely loved everything about it. I loved how grotesque the Donkey puppets were and how sinister Bruno was. I loved the loud Pantalone character. But I remember that other children in the audience were traumatised by it. Picking a show for a child can be tricky sometimes. You want to expose them to something cultural and different but you don’t want to scare the bejeezus out of them. Hopefully my picks for April and May won’t be too frightening!
I have to admit, I’m a bit biased in this recommendation. After all, I’m the Artistic Director of this festival. Shakespeare in the Port is the first outdoor Shakespeare festival to ever be presented in Hong Kong. There’s 28 performances over 17 days with two MainStage shows rotating. One show, Taming of the Shrew, has been specially adapted for young audiences and short attention spans. Shakespeare in the Port should be a great experience for exposing young ones to the arts. It’s theatre in a fun, casual atmosphere. Come have a picnic and enjoy some food with your family and the Bard. Also, there’s an Easter Egg Hunt on April 20 that shouldn’t be missed!
Location: Cyberport Podium, 100 Cyberport Rd, Hong Kong
Dates: April 17-May 4, 7:30pm and 3pm matinees on weekends
Price: Free for kids under 12, $150-300 per adult
For musical fans, Hong Kong Singers is putting together a musical review of the work of Cole Porter. One of the musical geniuses of the 21st century, Cole Porter’s greatest hits will be put across the stage in a two-hour show that is entertaining to people of all ages. After all, who doesn’t love the song, Delovely?
Location: McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Dates: April 23-26, 8pm
This should be a really fun piece to bring the whole family to. Le French May always creates high quality, entertaining shows and I’m really looking forward to this one! They aim to showcase the best in French creativity, from cinema to gastronomy to dance and design. Sounds cool, right? On the theater side, the variety of shows this year include Circus, Commedia D’ell Arte, Opera, Dance and Theatre of the Absurd.
Location: Various locations
Dates: May 1-June 15
Earlier this month, we saw a production of Macbeth by Stylus Productions. Lucky for us, the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre of Scotland are pairing up for an international production of Dunsinane. Dunsinane is an imagined sequel to the Macbeth saga, written by David Greig (not Shakespeare…). In this age of blockbuster sequels at the box office, it’s only natural that we start writing sequels to the Bard’s work in the hopes of making it big. This show is not recommended for young children due to violence and adult themes. But those sound like perfect things to keep those surly teens entertained while they’re pulled away from their smart phones.
Location: Kwai Tsing Theatre
Dates: May 2-3, 7:45pm and 2:30pm matinee on Saturday
You can read more about upcoming shows in Hong Kong at Meaghan’s fab theatre blog, http://www.hkeld.com.