It is ironic that the man behind The Night of the Ad Eaters, Jean-Marie Boursicot, which comes to Hong Kong for the third time on May 10-11, has managed to make a small fortune and created an international touring circuit by persuading people to pay to see dozens of television advertisements back to back, when those same people probably curse every time the ads come up in the middle of their favourite programme. In Hong Kong, of course the television is often so dismal one longs for the ads to break the monotony.
There are exceptions of course, some which are so damned irritating one can only hope they have been included. There is that gratuitous romance used to sell cold remedies, the strange tea ads from China that inexplicably finish 'A friend in need is a friend indeed'. And of course Hongkong Bank's recent efforts at surrealism with that man wittering about being a fish. Rich pickings indeed for Boursicot. The Night of the Ad Eaters is at Queen Elizabeth Stadium on May 10-11.
Key to strait talking Tomorrow night's duo piano concert at City Hall is just the kind of admirable cross-straits cultural exchange that hopefully will continue long after the handover. Mary Mei-loc Wu from Hong Kong and Hsin Hsing-Chwen from Taiwan are two of the brightest young pianists in the region, being the Champion and First Runner-Up respectively of the 1991 Mozart Bicentenary Piano Competition of Asia. They started playing as babies, with Wu making her first public performance aged three, and both have performed with Yehudi Menuhin. Their joint performance will include Brahms' Sonata for Two Pianos, Ravel's La Valse, and composer Chan Ching-wah's Impressions.
According to the Japanese The accordion is all too often associated with cheesy films set in France for most of us to take it seriously as a proper musical instrument. In Japan, where it was used as a teaching aid in elementary schools, it was likened to a toy to help children become familiar with music. Japanese pianist Toshie Ishikawa however, who trained in piano from the age of four, never forgot those early years toying with an accordion and in 1994 she took the instrument up seriously and began to play in clubs and restaurants around Tokyo. By 1996, she was good enough to win the All Japan Accordion Contest. She will be performing at the Fringe Club tonight at 8pm.
Designs on the future There have been endless photography exhibitions, intriguing installations, dance productions and plays based on the theme of Hong Kong at this key stage in its history. The Arts Centre has encouraged a group of designers to take the subject a little less seriously with its enormously successful Souvenir '97: A Design Project exhibition in April. The show was such a hit that the centre has decided to stage it again from May 10-29, including SAR playing cards, with Tung Chee-hwa on the back and the unforgettable calendar toilet paper.
Foley back with more London-based actor Daniel Foley has performed at the Fringe Festival so many times he is almost a category in himself. This year he performed a one-man show about Puccini, written by the late Piers Gray, a friend. He is returning with his three-person theatre company, Performance Exchange, this month to perform two plays, again based on the private lives of artistic legends.
The first is Meyerhold, at 8pm from May 14-17. This is about the Russian actor-director, who in the 1920s and 30s did much in the Soviet Union to create a new acting style, but ended up a victim of Stalin's purges. The second is a new take on a story made familiar by the Peter Schaeffer play/film Amadeus, that of Mozart and Salieri. Foley plays Salieri in this 20-minute production, written by the poet Pushkin. This will follow on from Meyerhold on May 16-17 at 10pm. Foley will also be giving would-be thesps and anyone who is interested the benefit of his experience at a Voice Discovery workshop, at 10am on May 17.