When a plague strikes, how do we react?
A chilling fable of hope and despair in times of crisis
A deadly plague catches a frenetic city unguarded. Despite downright official denial, rats soon infest the city and the death toll is on the rise day by day. The city is finally sealed off from the outside world, wilting and pining. How do the people respond to this existential risk? How is human behaviour dictated by practical necessity? In a post-apocalyptic public enquiry, five witnesses – a doctor, tourist, journalist, civil servant and 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, some selflessly, some 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 worse thing that could happen happens. This eerily timely production strikes a powerful chord with us today struggling to come to terms with a reality turned upside down by the plague.
Performed in Cantonese with Chinese and English surtitles
Approx 2 hrs with no interval
This production contains smoking scene and strong language
Commissioned and produced by HKAF
after Albert Camus’s La Peste
Translated and directed by
Date: 27 Feb 2021 (Sat) Matinee performance
Venue: Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Free and open to all ticket holders