PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 August, 2005, 12:00am

Having been the judge of the Hong Kong Drama Festival for eight consecutive years, how would you rate local original scripts?

Prospects Theatre artistic director Paul Poon Wai-sum:

'The scripts are always interesting. The candidates write about anything that inspires them artistically. They don't need to put audience taste before artistic merits - unlike professional theatres.

'However, a drama script is so much more than rewriting a narration into dialogues. A good playwright has to create dramatic elements and capture the momentum of a drama. A playwright's understanding of and feelings about theatrical performance are important. I can catch their thoughts and feelings from their plays, but many are unable to fully utilise the artistic form of drama to present their ideas. The scripts at the festival may not be mature, but I appreciate their passion, enthusiasm and energy.

'There isn't much room for new or amateur playwrights to experiment in Hong Kong, except for occasions like this. Professional drama groups often find it risky to adopt a local original script, in case it flops and affects the image of the theatre.

'Translated plays from overseas scripts are preferred, because good quality is almost guaranteed. Still, I believe local theatres want to use original scripts. It's just that they have to be cautious and this limits the opportunity for new playwrights.

'I'm glad to see more upcoming young playwrights in the past two and three years, like Lee Ka-wing, Chong Mui-ngam, Leung Ka-kit and Wong Wing-sze.

They have passion, as well as potential. It's good that they're active in local theatres.'