Feast for the senses

A kaleidoscope of programmes will be featured in the upcoming Hong Kong Arts Festival, which runs from February 27 to March 25. The arts extravaganza will present more than 150 events by 23 overseas and 11 local arts groups, including some commissioned works and new interpretations of classics. Young Post takes a look at some of the highlights

12 Faces of Woman

(March 2-3, Hong Kong City Hall)

You may not recognise the name Keith Chan Fai-young, but you have probably heard his songs. The hit-maker has written numbers for such pop stars as Eason Chan Yick-shun, Miriam Yeung Chin-wah and Sammi Cheng Sau-man.

Chan has composed 12 new songs for this multimedia performance. A stellar lineup of artists, including Charlene Choi Cheuk-yin from Twins, movie actor Louis Koo Tin-lok, Sammi Cheng and illustrator Siu Hak, have created the accompanying videos, which will be screened in the show.

The songwriter will play live on keyboard, backed by an ensemble of musicians.

Tian Gong Kai Wu: A Practical Guide to Imaginary Inventions (March 5-11, HKAPA)

Learn about Hong Kong's history in this surreal, poetic theatre work starring comedian Cheung Tat-ming. The play tells the story of a family spanning three generations, set against the backdrop of Hong Kong over the past century. Everyday objects, ranging from sewing machines to Nintendos, set up the atmosphere on stage and reflect the life of Hong Kong people from the past to present. The Cantonese play is co-written by novelist Dung Kai-cheung and director Chan Ping-chiu (pictured right).

The Taming of the Shrew + Twelfth Night

(March 7-10, HKAPA)

The all-male Propeller company (pictured top) from the UK will provide a dynamic and hilarious interpretation of William Shakespeare's comedies. The two plays will be directed by celebrated theatre director Edward Hall.

The Taming of the Shrew was written at the beginning of the Bard's career. It tells of the volatile courtship of the shrewish Katherine by the sly Petruchio.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will revolves around young Viola and Sebastian, a pair of identical twins. After a shipwreck, Viola disguises herself as her brother.

Both English-language plays are about love, mistaken identity and transformation.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

(March 16-18, Hong Kong City Hall)

Another light-hearted interpretation of Shakespeare's comedy, but with a Korean touch. The Yohangza Theatre Company (pictured bottom) begin the tale on a midsummer night when mischievous Korean goblins are having a party. A country woman is searching for Sansam, a rare hundred-year-old species of mountain ginseng. The tangled love story is spiced up with a mix of dance and percussion. The play is directed by Jung Ung-yang, who recently won South Korea's Best Young Playwright of the Year Award, and the actors will be in Korean dress.

Jun Kung and Hong Kong Sinfonietta

(March 16, Hong Kong City Hall)

Rocker Jun Kung will team up with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta for a crossover concert. A graduate of New York's Drummer's Collective, the talented drummer and singer-songwriter is a member of rock band Hann. He was also the musical director for rocker Paul Wong Koon-chung's concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum last year.

Under the baton of musical director Yip Wing-sie (pictured top right), and accompanied by bass guitarist Liang Chun-wai, Kung will show off his drumming skills in Fly. The piece is a fusion of orchestral and pop music, composed by Ng Cheuk-yin.

But Kung said don't expect a drum solo. 'I'll be just a percussionist in an orchestra. I'm looking forward to collaborating with the best classical musicians in town,' he said.

'Having the chance to work with an orchestra is beyond my wildest dreams,' said Kung, whose musical upbringing is rock and jazz.

Check out the full list of this year's Hong Kong Arts Festival at

For a membership fee of HK$60 (secondary students) or HK$80 (tertiary students), you can join the Young Friends Scheme in which members are entitled to watch two festival performances for free and enjoy year-round activities such as backstage tours, arts appreciation workshops and talks.

More information at