City Stage: Hong Kong Playwriting in English
Mike Ingham, Xu Xi
Hong Kong University Press, 2005 - Drama - 274 pages
City Stage is an anthology of recent Hong Kong English-language drama written for Hong Kong performers and audiences. All the plays were written in the last ten years and so capture and reflect the fast-developing multiculturalism of the Hong Kong scene - a somewhat paradoxical phenomenon in view of the 1997 return to China Mainland sovereignty. The richness and diversity of the subject-matter, the wide range of theatre styles from the naturalistic to the highly stylized and quite simply the engaging quality of the dramatic writing, all make this anthology both an essential adjunct to the 2001 prose fiction and poetry collection City Voices and at the same time a ground-breaking, independent record of an incredibly fertile period in Hong Kong's recent creative life history. Thematically speaking, whilst all plays have their unique voice and subject-matter, it is accurate to say that the quest for personal and communal identity is a theme that goes to the heart of all present selections. The anthology is important in that it epitomizes the increasing interconnectedness of previously segregated facets of Hong Kong culture, indicating the very welcome tendency towards more open dialogue between Chinese and non-Chinese practitioners and audiences. The anthology contains the complete texts of the shorter plays and strategically selected excerpts from the longer plays. All the texts in this collection were written as English-language versions for performance rather than literary translations, although for some a Chinese-language text was also written.
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