The Massage King

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2006, 12:00am

The Massage King (Re-run)

Prospects Theatre

Shouson Theatre

Reviewed: August 4

Playwright Paul Poon Wai-sum's The Massage King (first staged in January) is set in a unspecified, gritty Pearl River Delta city where Old China meets New China and New Hong Kong.

Lam Chun (Joey Leung Cho-yiu) is a university graduate who opts for a fast life as a cross-border smuggler. He belongs to the young, materialistic generation who take advantage of what New China has to offer. 'For HK$38 you get a nice massage and a big bowl of noodles - what more can you ask for?' he asks.

On his way back to Hong Kong after a special order, Lam runs into the desperate Man Shun (Shaw Mei-kwan) who drags him to her rundown massage parlour, staffed by a pair of off- beat Mongolians (Chan Suk-yee and Yeung Sze-man).

The drama is Lam's account of his bizarre afternoon at the massage parlour, with a series of flashbacks from Man. The climax is the revelation of the contents of Lam's mysterious package. Poon has written an intelligent, multi-layered story that explores the psychology of locals towards 21st century China and post-1997 Hong Kong. Although stereotypes abound, the world he portrays isn't too far off the reality. The three mainlanders are caught up in and confused by the new riches - and growing social inequality - created by the booming economy, while Lam's life represents a new generation that seeks instant materialistic gratification.

Lam recounts a road accident in which the driver of a Mercedes-Benz orders his so-called brothers to slash the tyres of the taxi he's hit before speeding away - demonstrating the power (and evil) that comes with affluence.

Director Lee Kwok-wai paces this quirky drama well and the four actors, particularly Shaw and Chan, brought their characters to life. The play ends on a sinister note, with Lam's fate depending on the man to whom he has been telling his story: a sword-wielding gangster-like character played by Poon.

Today-Aug 13, 8pm; Aug 12, 13, 3pm also, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, HK$100-HK$260. Inquiries: 2606 2989. Ends Aug 13


Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

The Massage King

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.