Hongkongers rarely get the chance to watch western-style puppetry. But we will soon get that opportunity. A local production company - All Theatre Company - is putting together an original, multimedia puppet theatre show in March as part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. The show, YuYu MiMi - A Love Story, was created by Hong Kong-born puppeteer and performer Hoi Chiu (real name Yip Kam-chiu) and his Canadian wife Maggie Blue O'Hara, a dancer and voice artist. All the wooden puppets for the show were hand-carved by Chiu, who studied props production at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. 'I learned about puppetry by participating in puppet shows over the years. I wanted to promote and develop puppetry in Hong Kong, so I started the [now defunct] Hong Kong Puppet Centre in Lamma in 1999. 'I felt that Hong Kong needed good puppet shows,' said the 31-year-old, a freelance actor who regularly performs in theatre productions. There is an interest in puppetry in Hong Kong, but it's usually limited to traditional Chinese-style puppet shows. The Hong Kong Puppet and Shadow Art Centre (HKPSAC), for instance, has been teaching the art of puppetry since 2000. The organisation focuses on staging performances and providing educational activities. Wong Fai, founder of the centre, said he is currently teaching the art of Chinese puppetry as an extra-curricular activity at one secondary and four primary schools in Hong Kong. 'It is a year-long course that will finish this year. We have plans to start even more courses for students,' Wong said. One of the youngest puppeteers studying at HKPSAC is Wong Chi-wing, a City University accounting student. He developed an interest in puppetry by watching his parents, who are also puppeteers, perform. 'I have seen my parents perform ever since I was little. I spent several months in Hunan in 2003 to learn how to do it properly. It requires a lot of skill,' said the 21-year-old. Audiences can expect something a little out of the ordinary with Hoi Chiu's show, which tells a Western-style love story. YuYu MiMi is an exploration of first love, memories and the unspoken. It is about the love discovered and then lost by the central characters. The lively puppeteer, YuYu, and the slower, more thoughtful writer, MiMi meet by chance one summer day next to a tree with heart-shaped leaves. They fall in love. But because they both hold back their feelings and hide parts of themselves from the other, they eventually end up leaving one another. 'The central theme of the story is the question 'What is everlasting love?'' said Chiu. 'Everybody is always looking for the door to love, but people never really know whether they are leaving it or finding it. 'I want this story to be timeless. And I want the audience to relate to both YuYu and MiMi at the same time.' Multi-dimensional worlds are depicted by using different media forms, including storytelling, video collages, Chinese paper cut shadow puppets, mirror reflections, dance and an original soundtrack. 'I want the audience to leave the show thinking about love: have I found it yet? Where do I look?' he said. 'To young people, love is very important. The show will make them think about relationships: what is forever? Is it this moment right now, or is there more?' said Chiu. YuYu MiMi - A Love Story will be performed at 8pm at the Fringe Club on March 9 and 10 (Cantonese), and March 16 and 17 (English). Tickets are HK$60 for students (HK$120 for adults). Hoi Chiu will be holding a Puppet Theatre Workshop on February 24 at the Fringe Club from 11.30am to 1.30pm. He will be teaching the art of puppetry - how to control puppets and use them to express yourself. The workshop will be conducted in Cantonese. Entry is HK$80.