Musical: Edmond Tong's Let's Not Talk About Love
What if you woke up one morning to find yourself stuck in a time warp? Think About Time, The Time Traveller's Wife and The Butterfly Effect. This hypothetical question inspired stage actor Edmond Tong Chun-yip to pen his second and latest musical Let's Not Talk About Love, which deals with the consequence of altering events in the past.
"There are so many things I'm worried about losing — be it the tuck shop I grew up with or a person whom I saw as a lifelong partner, I feel very sad about seeing them gone," says Tong. "As I grow older, I learn that nothing is permanent. There are always factors out of your hands that may induce changes. But then it also prompts me to think: what if we could go back in time to preserve or fix things?"
Co-directing with Ling Chi-ho, Tong will also take on the lead role in this production. So how does he juggle being its writer, co-director and lead? The answer is, he doesn't. "It's impossible to make a balance and the three roles are driving me crazy," says Tong. "So what I did was once I finished writing the script, I detached myself and treated it as my first time reading it as an actor. I'll criticise it and make fun of it. That's also why I have to recite the script from scratch — don't be surprised if I forget my lines, even though I'm the scriptwriter."
Revolving around love and life's common problems between time traveller Edmond (played by Tong) and his friends Shirley (Tsoi Wan-wa), Donald (Tong Kim-hong) and Lilian (Luk Yan), the script touches on abstract ideas of space and universe. Tong chose to present it as a musical — penning some of the music himself along with local duo Lil' Ashes, who will also act and perform in the show — because music helps set the tone and steer the audience on the right track as the characters switch between the real and virtual world.
While his 2011 solo performance Home Coming was more personal and focused on family, Let's Not Talk About Love looks at modern love and interpersonal relationships, as well as personal growth which Tong believes everyone can relate to.
"People often wish they could make a different choice or regret the decisions they've made. But by messing with the past, one must go through something else," says Tong.
"Through these characters what I want to say is to accept all the surprises life gives you and let go of the unhappy past; then and only then can you live happily."
Let's Not Talk About Love by Windmill Grass Theatre, Cultural Centre Studio Theatre, 10 Salisbury Road, TST, June 4-7, 8pm, June 6-7, 3pm, HK$260, HK$300 Urbtix. In Cantonese. Inquiries: 2389 9220