How to bring more people to the theatre? Lessons from ‘I, Malvolio’ at ‘Freespace at Taikoo Place’       

By Ambrose Li A sobering realisation hits as I look around the ArtisTree theatre in excitement while enthusiastically applauding the spectacular performance of I, Malvolio - the theatre was half empty during a matinée performance in late October. According to The Guardian: “I, Malvolio… stands stunningly as its own piece… [Tim] Crouch is a performer …

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Human Body Parts: Pushing the boundaries of polite performances

By Ambrose Li Outbursts of laughter and screams from children and adults alike have been haunting the sleek office lobbies at Taikoo Place over the Halloween weekend, thanks to six giant puppets of disembodied human body parts. This isn’t a Halloween trick-or-treat but immersive theatre. Human Body Parts (HBP) by Melbourne-based Snuff Puppets was brought …

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多姿多采而樸實無華的光影手動旅程

By Ronny Cheung 猶記得從前老師以舊式投影機上投射筆記,同學都會爭相幫老師換投影片,上下左右常常搞不清楚。隨着電腦和數碼投影機的出現,投影機早已被遺忘。但舊式投影機於來自美國芝加哥的「手動影院」(Manual Cinema) 的手裡得以重生,他們利用舊式投影機結合現代「皮影戲」、現場音樂、演員肢體表演、電影語言及現場錄像等,製作多個獨一無二的劇場作品,其中《露拉,出走中》(Lula del Ray) 便於「自由看@太古坊」開幕禮舉行香港首演。 舞台上一高一低的雙屏幕,左側的電腦控制多聲道音效,右側是彈奏電結他、低音大提琴的樂手,中間三部傳統投影機,還有戴着剪影面具的演員和投影片放映人員。進入《露拉,出走中》的故事,放映人員開始忙碌地擺放不同長度、顏色和透光度的投影片,投放的影像有沙漠、星空、旅行車、衛星天線站等,才知道故事背景設定於五十年代的美國,當時美國正與俄羅斯競賽登陸月球。女孩露拉與母親住在沙漠中央,每天接收衛星訊號。某天晚上,露拉在電視上看到鄉村音樂二人組巴頓兄弟的深情歌聲,被他們迷人的歌聲及帥氣的外表吸引着,不管母親強烈反對,獨自離開舒適簡單的家園,前往大都會朝聖,豈料身陷充滿危機、欺詐及令人失望的世界。 簡單故事的背後,看到「手動影院」心思縝密的設計和表演。劇中的兩個角色,均以剪影和真實演員的影子交替演出,雖然屏幕中只有影子,演員都能生動地以肢體表達情感和對白。現場三部投影機交替投射,用簡單的線條描繪不同場景,遠鏡和近鏡的影像重疊或交替出現,配合富電影感的現場音樂和音效,彷如一部公路電影。複雜且技術性強的演出,因着過時的投影機和簡單的影像線條,既親切又充滿想像空間。 非數碼的「手動影院」決意以皮影木偶和投影機,建構一次現場演出的電影體驗。具有電影語言的劇場投影,加上刻意暴露整個影像製作和音樂演奏的過程,《露拉,出走中》如同邀請觀眾來參與一個尋寶遊戲:看到星星閃爍令人好奇那是如何做出來的,聽到背景音樂吸引觀眾側耳傾聽到底什麼樂器在演奏。表演完結後,大部分觀眾都跑去研究投影機、投影片和道具,頓然變成一個個好奇和樂於探索的小孩子。 其實非數碼的表演方式,與觀眾互動時往往需要醞釀更長時間。例如博物館的高科技互動展品,觀眾一般花少於一分鐘就能研究出互動方法,然後很快便玩膩了。非數碼的互動模式,卻有着一種陌生感,需要觀眾更努力摸索,體會箇中究竟。加上皮影木偶戲所用的道具都是由日常生活中看到的紙版、膠片等組成,與觀眾的互動變得反璞歸真。由此可見,「手動影院」一方面想觀眾體驗新穎的劇場模式,一方面讓製作時的忙亂和電影作品的平和形成很大的反差,令整個演出節奏更豐富多元。如果把所有現場製作和音樂演奏隱藏起來,單是《露拉,出走中》的「電影」雖令人覺得精彩,但不會深刻。現在的「幕前幕後」並時發表,既能讓觀眾看到電影製作過程,也滿足了觀眾窺探真相的渴望。 本文為『CJC x Freespace at Taikoo Place』的出版,是為 CJC 與太古地產及西九文化區合辦的 CJC 秋季學習項目。

The Gatling Gun Revival: Why low expectation is the best expectation for indie musicians in Hong Kong

    By Ada Fong and Ronny Cheung On a sunny Saturday afternoon, many families are picnicking at Taikoo Park and enjoying the beautiful autumn weather. Barefoot children happily dance around in circles on the grass to the strong indie rock rhythms of Hong Kong band The Gatling Gun Revival (GGR). This seems an atypical …

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Seasoned journalists and critics join ‘CJC x Freespace at Taikoo Place’

Performing arts critic Jass Leung and lifestyle editor Esther Ng will be mentoring eight CJC reporters during CJC's brand new Autumn Programme CJC x Freespace at Taikoo Place.  Performing arts critic Felix Chan, SCMP's senior editor Yonden Lhatoo and Gillian Yau, producer at RTHK also come on board as guest mentors. In collaboration with Swire …

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