The Ex­tinc­tion of Hong Kongers

Theatre du Poulet of­fers a look at the po­lit­i­cal cli­mate of Hong Kong over the last two decades.

The Coast - - HALIFAX FRINGE - —ML

Thu Sep 6, 10pm; Fri Sep 7, 9:30pm; Sun Sep 9, 7:30pm The Old Pool Hall Theatre 6050-6070 Al­mon Street, pwyc

Chun Shing Roland Au and Car­men Lee met in their per­form­ing arts school in Hong Kong and im­me­di­ately felt a col­lab­o­ra­tive chem­istry. To­gether they moved to Ire­land, then to Montreal and then to Hal­i­fax, where they are pre­sent­ing a newly re­vised ver­sion of their suc­cess­ful show The Ex­tinc

tion of Hong Kongers.

“We grew up in Hong Kong with a strong iden­tity cri­sis,” says Au. “We grew up with the turnover from the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment to the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment, who has very strong opin­ions about what Hong Kong should be.”

Since leav­ing their home and talk­ing with peo­ple about the sit­u­a­tion in Hong Kong, it be­came clear to Au and Lee that many aren’t aware of the po­lit­i­cal cli­mate and the his­tory of strug­gle of their home­land. “We start from the his­tory of Hong Kong to the protests in 2014,” says Au. “The Um­brella Rev­o­lu­tion, which is a huge protest where Hong Kongers are fight­ing for uni­ver­sal suf­frage. Even un­til now Hong Kong doesn’t have uni­ver­sal suf­frage for choos­ing our leader. It is for the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment to choose.”

Work on The Ex­tinc­tion of Hong Kongers be­gan last Au­gust, and it pre­miered in Oc- to­ber at DaPoPo Theatre’s Live-In Fes­ti­val. Af­ter se­cur­ing fund­ing from Arts Nova Sco­tia and the Canada Coun­cil for the Arts, the duo con­tin­ued to de­velop the work and have since brought it to Sum­mer­works in Toronto.

“With the re­vised ver­sion, we in­sisted we bring it back to Hal­i­fax,” says Lee. “Be­cause of how the com­mu­nity helped us, I wanted to bring it back here. It’s like an­other home.”

DAHLIA KATZ

Au and Lee bring a new ver­sion of The Ex­tinc­tion back to Hal­i­fax.

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