A Hong Kong Shopping Mall Odyssey: Searching for the Happy Man
Sha Tin Town Hall, Cultural Activities Hall June 16-19
Prospects Theatre gets lost in consumerism
The experience of sitting at a communal table surrounded by metal lockers in an abandoned public school in Cha Kwo Ling – Prospects Theatre’s site – to listen to playwright Wu King-yeung’s grudges against the city’s mall-isation is just as surreal as a shopping quest in a whitewashed mega mall.
A Hong Kong Shopping Mall Odyssey: Searching for the Happy Man is a “hyperlinked” story set in a fictional high-end mall named “National Fortune City” (NFC). With more than a touch of fantasy, the play opens with a new concierge being told of the accident of her predecessor who’d been hit by the suspended giant question mark overhead. Then, one day, several customers, including a tai tai and an anachronistic Sherlock Holmes, realise the routes inside NFC have been altered and they are literally trapped in the maze of consumerism.
“It’s absolutely a criticism of consumerism,” Wu declares. “[But] I’m not totally against shopping malls. I quite like Langham Place for example. It’s different – not as homogenous – and I treat it like a park as I won’t buy anything anyway.”
Performed in Cantonese. Tickets: 2734 9009; www.urbtix.hk.