The set-up was fine but the characterization charmless and the narrative resolution unconvincing. Directed and written by Adam Harris, it might have been the better still for an external directorial hand. Which I think on balance it is. For the overall production to be managed by a single artistic director might have made for more fluency. Due to venue restrictions with time constraints some edits may have been made to this production that may not been present when the reviewer attended. Best of the rest for me, at least were:
With these caveats, I commend the show to anyone interested in exploring the contemporary human condition through the works and plays of their contemporaries here in Hong Kong. As of the Wednesday show, which the editor attended the show ran a little less than three hours. The set up was strong, the humour effective and the twist well turned. Plus the usual fascination with love and sex, life and death, homes and restaurants - and less usually a toilet and a dental surgery. What distinguishes a playlet from a play? For the overall production to be managed by a single artistic director might have made for more fluency. But those who come to it in the expectation that there will be rough along with smooth should not be disappointed. Directed and written by Adam Harris, it might have been the better still for an external directorial hand. The set-up was fine but the characterization charmless and the narrative resolution unconvincing. But that's live theatre, folks! And, of course, the theatre itself. Most of the pieces are significantly longer than their targeted 10 minutes. With the first play up at 8pm well, a few minutes later, in fact , and a 15 minute interval, the last play closed at His reluctance to commit for fear of fatherhood was counterpointed by longing messages on her ansaphone from some other boyfriend. So the critical question for me at any rate is whether these 10 playlets went beyond being 5 or for that matter 10 finger exercises to a suspension of disbelief or some sort of Brechtian equivalence and an ensuing catalytic catharsis. At back of the title are two precedent Hong Kong productions: Best of the rest for me, at least were: An evening of new plays — 10 to be precise, though one of them bifurcates either side of the interval so it looks at first glance like 11 — and not one of the writers is credited in the programme. Aurora Theatre notified us this morning that the Friday evening performance has now sold out. Whilst ramming its point home, the setting and storyline seemed out of place and perhaps because of this its staging the less successfully realised. This, at any rate, imparts a certain confluence of style in an otherwise deliberately disparate grab-bag of playlets. Despite seriously dysfunctional sequencing from director Jonathan Bratley why, in particular, a blackout between each scene instead of lighting shifts to maintain the momentum? Which I think on balance it is. Due to venue restrictions with time constraints some edits may have been made to this production that may not been present when the reviewer attended. Why so many budding dramatists should wish to remain anonymous is a mystery — all the more so when the quality of the writing — the dialogue, set-up and structure for each piece - is consistently accomplished and engaging.
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