New theatre piece by Tang Shu-wing tackles life's big questions with Apple-like simplicity | South China Morning Post

New theatre piece by Tang Shu-wing tackles life's big questions with Apple-like simplicity


Tang Shu-wing Theatre Studio


TANG SHU-WING is a fan of Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple. The veteran theatre director says he is inspired by the life of the entrepreneur, inventor and salesman. "I've read a lot about him and he's no ordinary businessman. One thing we share in common is our love for simplicity. It's a way of life. We know the meaning of our lives," says Tang.

"It's important that he didn't ask what computers can do, but what humans can use the computer to accomplish. It applies to how we live our lives. It's time to stop asking what life is, but how we can live our lives to make them better. These two questions make a world of difference."

And they are the core subjects Tang tackles in his new stage show, Why Aren't You Steve Jobs?. Unlike his previous two offerings — the physical comedy Detention (2011) and dance drama Thunderstorm (2012), both non-verbal theatre — Why Aren't You Steve Jobs? has dialogue based on everyday issues: sexuality, infidelity, faith and death.

These issues are framed within the setting of a yoga studio. "The reason for this set-up is because yoga is an enduring spiritual practice in which you align your mind through exercising your body," he says.

"It's about personal enhancement. It's like, since we were born, every person is constantly having lessons; we learn, we make mistakes, we repent. The learning process recurs throughout our lives."

On stage, the characters discuss three crises and Tang, a real-life yoga enthusiast cast here as an instructor, offers enlightenment.

A wife and husband, played by Ivy Pang and Aska Leung Ka-wai, struggle to come to terms with their daughter's death. In another story arc, a private tutor, played by Lai Yuk-ching, deals with living a secret life as a mistress. In a third story, a homosexual character, played by Wong Chun-tat, discovers another side to his sexuality.

Tang's character may offer advice, but he is no guru. "This show won't give you any concrete answers but it serves as a reminder to the audience to contemplate their way of life and how they can make the most out of it."


Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai, April 17-21, 8pm, April 18-21, 3pm. In Cantonese. HK$130-HK$320 Urbtix. Inquiries: 2144 5335



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