In view of the reopening of performing venues on 19 February, the Hong Kong Arts Festival announces changes to in-venue programmes. Please visit this page for details.
A deadly plague catches a bustling city off guard. The city is eventually sealed off from the outside world. In a post-disaster enquiry, five witnesses offer disparate accounts of the “truth” about the plague. How do people respond to existential risk? How is human behaviour dictated by practical necessity? In this haunting Cantonese adaptation of Neil Bartlett’s piercing play, we are reminded that, even in the worst of times, the human desire for unity triumphs.

This production was originally scheduled to be staged in February. In view of the uncertainty of venue availability due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this programme was cancelled. The HKAF has filmed it and it can be viewed by purchasing a 24-hour pass (valid from 8pm on the selected day to 8pm the next day, HK time) from 25 to 31 May. For licensing reasons, it will be streamed in Hong Kong only.

The Plague (Cantonese version)

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About
World Premiere

When a plague strikes, how do we react?
A chilling fable of hope and despair in times of crisis

A deadly plague catches a bustling city off guard. Despite downright official denial, rats soon infest the city and the death toll rises day by day. Brought to its knees, the city is finally sealed off from the outside world. How do people respond to this existential risk? How is human behaviour dictated by practical necessity? In a post-apocalyptic public enquiry, five witnesses—a doctor, a tourist, a a journalist, a civil servant and a black marketeer—offer their disparate accounts of the “truth” about the plague over one particular spring and summer. Each responded to the all-engulfing plague in their own way, some heroically, others selflessly, more still selfishly. But even in the worst of times, people always fight back against despair and the human desire for unity triumphs: “There is more to admire about people than to despise or despair of”.

In this haunting Cantonese adaptation of Neil Bartlett’s piercing play The Plague, which premiered in London in 2017 and is itself an adaptation of Albert Camus’s tour de force La Peste, Hong Kong uprising director Chan Tai-yin brings together an all-female cast to examine how people draw on inside themselves when they are faced with a situation where the unimaginable and worst that can happen. This eerily timely production strikes a powerful chord with us today, as we come to terms with a reality turned upside down by the plague.

The production has been filmed and can be viewed by purchasing a 24-hour pass (valid from 8pm on the selected day to 8pm the next day, HK time) from 25 to 31 May.

The 49th HKAF also presented an English-language production of The Plague, directed by Wang Chong, delivered as a real-time online performance in March to positive reviews. The adaptation compels us to interrogate the outside world and our inner selves during a critical time rife with fear and uncertainty. This production will be available to view from 25 to 31 May. Please click here for details. 

Performed in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles
Approx 1 hr 45 mins
This production contains smoking scene and strong language
Hong Kong only
No refunds or exchanges of tickets
Cast and Production
Commissioned and produced by HKAF

after Albert Camus’s La Peste

Written by
Neil Bartlett

Translated and directed by
Chan Tai-yin

Cast
Annie Cheung
Birdy Wong
Wan Yuk-yu
Ceci Chan
Luk Ka-ki
 
Set Designer 
Jacob Wu

Lighting Designer
Samuel Chan
 
Costume Designer
Cheryl Ching
 
Sound Designer
Sham Chung-tat

Video Director
Apple Ng

Special thanks to Onandon Cattle Depot Theatre

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