Director overcomes Kafkaesque red tape to stage musical at Lan Kwai Fong amphitheatre
with Andrew Sun. Additional reporting by Clara Mak and Vivian Chen.
Theatre director Marion McDonald pulled off quite a coup for her new Baz & Maz production. She convinced the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to let her use the outdoor amphitheatre behind Lan Kwai Fong for the musical Pippin.
'It's taken me just under six months,' she said. 'The original idea came last year when I was at the amphitheatre singing Christmas carols with friends. I looked around and wondered why no one uses it?' After lengthy Kafkaesque application processes with many departments, she finally got the go-ahead for the old [Stephen Schwartz's music and lyrics] Bob Fosse [choreography] hit.
'I chose Pippin because it's set in the royal court of King Charles the Great [Charlemagne] so the venue lent itself perfectly. It's tucked in a little space. You don't get a lot of noise. The main noise is air conditioners, actually.'
The 13 cast members - including acting regulars Michael Lin and Arvin Robles - will have to forgo dressing rooms as everyone will be on stage the entire 90 minutes of the show. According to the director, the actors are psyched. 'The feedback is it's fantastic and challenging. You're constantly on stage with nowhere to hide.'
The capacity is 150 and Pippin will be presented from tonight until Sunday at 7.45pm at the Lok Hing Lane Amphitheatre at the end of Wo On Lane. Tickets are HK$190 at Cafe O outlets and at the door. 'We're encouraging people to bring a cushion, a drink or even a picnic.'