After months of preparation and anticipation, we had our first rehearsal today. We met at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce on a cool Sunday afternoon. We exchanged some brief introductions and then dove right in.
Hearing China Doll and I. read by Hong Kong actors was an incredible experience. John Ng commented that when he heard the Cantonese dialogue in his play read by Hong Kong actors, it was like hearing it for the first time. It finally sounded the way he had originally conceived it in his mind.
In China Doll, Marjorie and I loved how intuitively Margaret Cheung, a talented HK actor, understood the character of Poa-Poa. It was affirming to see the ease with which Marjorie’s script crossed the ocean. I think a translated version of China Doll could definitely do well here.
During our breaks, we learned a great deal about theatre in Hong Kong—the absence of a perfomers’ union or guild, the rarity of workshops and staged readings, how HK theatres (like us in Canada) have a hard time competing with film and television, and much more. We answered some questions about Canada. I’m hoping that some of our HK actors will post guest blogs about their experiences working with Canadians.