Three Cantonese dramas reflecting upon current issues were staged at the Fringe

THE sliding wooden door might have failed to close; the lights might have come a bit too early. But the student actors took it in strides and the audience seemed to enjoy the three Cantonese dramas staged at the Fringe Club recently.

It was the ''Drama Night'' of the Hongkong Student Drama Association. Forty students from 10 schools staged some lively performances with the theme ''reality'' for an audience of 100 during the Easter holidays.

Producer Pang Chi-wah, a Form 6 student from Holy Family Canossian College, said: ''The drama night gives students a chance to test their acting talent. It does not have the restrictions sometimes imposed by schools.'' In The Lost Kingdom , a young girl P. K. is mysteriously transported from New York to an unknown place in Bermuda. There she develops a close friendship with another girl. When the only opportunity to go comes, P. K. has to leave everything behind.

''Many Hongkong people are leaving the territory and forgetting their identity. We feel that one should remember one's past,'' Pang said.

The play also reflects the price of growing up. ''When you begin to force yourself to do something you may not like, it is a sign that you are growing up,'' a wise elderly woman says to P. K. in the play.

Please Do Not Stand Beyond the Yellow Line is a hilarious episode in which four teenage boys stumble upon a door with a danger sign. Their speculations bring out their different standards of love, sex (the yellow line), career and ideals.

The language became rather explicit when the actors discussed the topic of sex.

''I didn't feel embarrassed because our expressions merely reflect the thinking of modern youths. In fact, the play won first prize in the Family Planning Association's drama contest in 1989,'' actor Tse Wai-kit from Ng Wah College said.

The third drama, I'll Give Heaven A Miss probes the dilemma 1997 poses. It is an imaginative story about a prophet and the Devil trying to choose a new God and another devil to rule a New Earth among three protagonists.

The three's reactions resemble how some Hongkong people feel about 1997.

Some audiences felt that the play's open ending was rather vague. But the message seems to stand out: Heaven and hell, whether it is Britain or China, are the same; what is needed is a new world in which rulers are not corrupt.

The experience was beneficial to a lot of students. Almond Sin Ka-Kwan, a fourth-former, played the prophet.

''My role requires me to speak authoritatively. I used to be very shy but now my self-confidence has increased.''