Acclaimed play the 'Mad Phoenix' set to rise from ashes once more

Acclaimed play coming to traditional theatre in West Kowloon after successful run last year

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 3:59am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 3:59am

After its first performance in 18 years last year, The Mad Phoenix is returning to the stage once more from February 12 to 25 - this time with a sea view.

Award-winning actor Tse Kwan-ho will be reprising his role as the brilliant but eccentric 20th century Cantonese opera composer, Kong Yu Kau.

The acclaimed stage play will be performed in a traditional Chinese matshed theatre for the first time, on the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade.

The Spring-Time Experimental Theatre, which is putting on the show, is expecting another smash hit after 24 sold-out performances last year.

Producer-director Ko Chi-sum said he expected the new venue to bring freshness to the play. "We will have the best sea view in town," he said. "Visitors can come to enjoy both the play and our renowned Victoria Harbour view at the same time."

Audience members who arrive early will be treated to traditional herbal tea and other nostalgic cultural activities.

"This will be different to performing in a grand theatre," said Tse. "There is a real sense of excitement and surprise."

But Tse said he did not expect any changes to the play apart from a few minor improvements.

"We have made few adjustments to our acting during the past 20 years. Some audience members said the ending was too tragic for Kong … we are now trying to bring a moment of laughter followed by a moment of tears."

Playwright Raymond To Kwok-wai thinks the success of the play - now attracting a young following 20 years after its first performance - stems from its universal appeal.

"The story and themes are timeless. They are not about singular events but universal human experiences and interactions," To said.

"Most people have seen Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, so why not The Mad Phoenix?"