Nov 2008

The Will to Build

Hong Kong City Hall


Highly surprising and deeply moving... this production should be performed in all secondary schools, universities, public housing estates and squares in Hong Kong
Leo Ou-Fan Lee, Ming Pao Daliy News


A performance with both skill and verve... much needed in a city that is now as densely populated as any in the world
The Architects Journal UK, Dec 08

Theatre du Pif, an innovative Hong Kong-UK collaboration in verbatim theatre, with UK video artists Burst TV and British writer Liam Hurley.

Queen's Pier. Star Ferry Pier. Wedding Card Street. Graham Street Market. Old Central Police Station. The irreplaceable heart of Hong Kong, or merely irrelevant, unprofitable bricks-and-mortar?

In Nov 08, as the closing performance at the New Vision Arts Festival, Theatre du Pif collaborated with BURST TV, a London-based collective of multi-media artists, and Liam Hurley, a young British theatre practitioner, in a provocative piece of "verbatim theatre" that stimulated debate about the value of Hong Kong's built heritage.
The production explored five key elements - space, pace, functionality, spirituality and identity, and examined the past, present and future of Hong Kong's relentless cycle of construction and destruction, and its effects on the bodies, hearts and minds of the city's inhabitants.

This powerful drama skillfully weaved together verbatim transcripts of Theatre du Pif's interviews with real people who are intimately involved in and affected by our city's obstinate will to build: property tycoons, construction workers, architects, planners, preservation activists, politicians, Feng Shui masters, former colonial dignitaries, cage-dwellers...

This production celebrated the 60th anniversary of British Council in Hong Kong.
Jointly presented by the British Council and Leisure and Cultural Service Department, The Will to Build was the closing performance of the New Vision Arts Festival 2008.

Director, Devisor : Bonni Chan       
Performer, Devisor : Sean Curran
Dramaturge : Liam Hurley (UK)
Performers : Lee Chun-chow, Phoebe Chan, Shirley Tsoi, Morgan Gadd, Benny Yu, Iris Sun
Video Artist : Burst TV (UK)
Music and Sound Designer : New Oprea Hero (UK)
Stage Designer : Charfi Hung
Lighting Designer : Lau Ming-hang
Costume Designer : Cheng Man-wing


Burst TV
BURST TV is a London-based collective of multimedia artists who specialise in producing and directing original videos and photography for use in live settings such as theatre and opera. They've worked on projects with the Pet Shop Boys, The National Theatre of Tokyo, Hamburg State Opera and English National Opera.

The Will to Build
The Will to Build - history
The Will to Build - space
The Will to Build - identity