• Wed
  • Sep 17, 2014
  • Updated: 10:53pm

In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 March, 2011, 12:00am

American Community Theatre
McAulay Studio Theatre, HK Arts Centre
Mar 9-12, 8pm, Mar 12, 3pm

Despite its often misconstrued title, director Ahmed El-Alfy says In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, by American playwright Sarah Ruhl, has nothing to do with sex toys. 'People always stick to the second half [of the title],' says El-Alfy. '[But] there's nothing sleazy about the play. It's very emotional and people actually do cry on stage.'

Set in a spa town in the US in the late 1800s, the drama is about a doctor (played by Damien Barnes) who treats women patients (such as the one played by Alice Mckay, right with Barnes) suffering from hysteria using primitive vibrators in his 'operating theatre'. His neglected wife (Rachel Jacobs), meanwhile, hearing all the noises made by his patients, is puzzled and keen to know what's going on in the next room.

El-Alfy says 'all the funny bits in the play are actually historical facts - the use of the machine, the treatment. They're all serious, it happened and people will laugh at it because it just seems strange to us' within the contemporary context.

The director hopes the bold and sensitive content of the play - which enjoyed a successful run on Broadway in 2009 - will provoke a reaction in modern yet conservative Hong Kong. 'It's about human beings. It's about relationships - dissatisfaction from marriages or love relationships leading to a lot of frustration and betrayals. Everyone will relate to it in one way or another,' says El-Alfy. 'I'm also trying to let the audience sympathise with the characters. But I'm not preaching who is wrong, I'm making an objective scenario, and letting the audience decide for themselves.'

This play is for 18-year-olds or above.

2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, HK$220 Urbtix. Inquiries: 9857 3229

Share

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or