If you’re a fan of Meaghan McGurgan’s HK Art Guide blog, you may be pleased to know she is now also the editor of HKELD, a new website that aims to provide information in English on what’s on and what’s good in the world of performing arts, and to connect artists with audiences.
Founded by Tom Hope, director of the Not So Loud Theatre Company, www.hkeld.com came about because “Tom thought that there was an opening – there wasn’t really any online criticism happening in Hong Kong”, says McGurgan, who is also director of the Hong Kong Children’s Theatre.
HKELD stands for Hong Kong English Language Drama but is also a play on the word “heckled”, a distraction rarely welcomed by performers but perhaps an apt analogy for criticism.
Asked about the popularity of her own blog, which had 500,000 hits last year, McGurgan says: “It’s because I’m topical and I [sometimes] say mean things … The minute you get topical or polarising, people are going to tune in.”
The new site – on which a panel of critics will cover everything from dance and drama to puppetry and mime – promises to be just as honest.
HKELD has covered about 30 events in the eight weeks since its launch. The panel is growing and McGurgan hopes to expand the circle to include younger recruits.
“Our kids’ section is going to have a major overhaul in the next few months. We will be having reviews written by kids, so it’s going to be from the perspective of children. We’re also hoping to make that section more accessible for teachers and parents.”
* Meaghan McGurgan is right; saying mean things is attention grabbing.