Why are original Hong Kong musicals so bad?
Drama Gallery administration director and actress Gladys Liu Shuk-fan (below):
'People misunderstand what a musical is here. They think each song is a summary of the next scene, so that if you took out all the songs you'd still know what the story was about. But the point is that the actors shouldn't just sing the songs but act them out. In theory, if all the numbers were taken out, you wouldn't have a clue what was going on. The songs are there for the development of the drama.
'Also, there's not enough training for actors who want to get into musicals. At the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, there's a course on musical theatre that comes under the school of dance rather than drama. The students are trained in dancing and singing only and not acting, so their sense of drama isn't strong.
'Then you have big companies who stage musicals with local pop stars for the money. Some of these pop stars can't act or sing. They just stand there and sing like in a concert. These people have no idea what a proper musical is or should be - that's why Hong Kong musicals are bad.'