Wednesday, March 07, 2018

華藝節 ::《聊齋》

The English title of the show left me giggling. Well, there isn't really an equivalent translation for the show. Yeah, it's not literal; it's a summary of the plot of the modern adaption of an old classic collection of ghost stories, and a comment of present-day communication methods or simply communication between people. Presented by Edward Lam Dance Theatre (非常林奕華), 'Why We Chat?' 《聊齋》is written by actress and playwright Wong Wing She (黃詠詩) and directed by Edward Lam (林奕華). The two actors are great- Sylvia Chang and David Wang (張艾嘉和王耀慶主演).

The plot runs a little similar to that Spike Jonze's film 'Her' (2013) that starred Joaquin Phoenix and mainly the voice of Scarlett Johansson. In this play, the protagonist Mr Pu (蒲先生) is an app developer, and made an app for a user base of lonely men to chat with various types of virtual women. Mr Pu (蒲先生) himself started using the app named 'Zhailiao' 《齋聊》and strikes up a conversation with one virtual entity- Ms Hu (Ms Fox, 胡小姐/狐小姐). After a while, he begins to think that Ms Hu knows a lot more about him than a virtual entity would, and wonders if she actually exists, or is someone who knows him well IRL. Okay, spoiler, she’s the ex-wife.

I was really there to watch Sylvia Chang. 😀 The three-hour play (with a 20-minute intermission) didn't feel too long at all. It was really fun, well scripted and produced. I kinda like the ‘supernatural’ portions rather than the ending. The second half was a little sombre, in the exploration of human failings in romantic eros relationships. In fact, at many points, I wanted to throttle Mr Pu. What an exceptionally useless man.

The director Edward Lam (林奕華) explained why he produced this play,


No comments: