Suart in action!

The Box, Side 14 Bluebeard

In their 20th year, the Hong Kong music ensemble 'the box' presents Bluebeard, a theatrical concert about desire, murder, and who's going to sleep on the sofa.

French poet and author Charles Perrault's Bluebeard (1697) is amongst the most horrific of folk tales. A newly-wedded young woman is granted the run of her husband's (Bluebeard) castle but is forbidden one room. He then leaves on business and his wife is consumed with curiosity. She opens the door to find a butcher's room of dismembered women: her husband's previous wives. Bluebeard returns to discover her betrayal and he is about to slaughter her too when she is rescued by her brothers. Perrault's closing moral indicts female curiosity, an outrageous position given the husband's monstrous violence.

Béla Bartók's one-act opera Duke Bluebeard's Castle (premiered in 1918, libretto by Béla Balázs) presents a much more subtle view of male/female relations. Bluebeard and Judith (the wife's name recalling the Apocryphal heroine, saviour of her people and beheader of the mighty Holofernes) love each other, but Judith's need to bring warmth and light into her husband's dark castle causes strife. Bluebeard accedes to her wishes, but finally condemns her to join his previous wives. The opera presents an unremittingly tragic view of male/female love.

In their 20th year the music ensemble 'the box' will present a theatrical concert drawing on Perrault, Bartók, Angela Carter (British author who rewrote a lot of classical fairy tales) , Pina Bausch and others. Fourteen pieces of music, one from Kung and Suart for each of seven doors, form the skeleton and flesh of this performance. Threads of incidental music, theatrical gestures, dialogue and video imagery are sewn through this body to make a circus monster: horrific, comic and lyrical.

Kung Chi Shing and Peter Suart formed 'the box' in 1987 in Hong Kong, since then they have presented a series of concerts and music theatre works (known as the 'Sides'), combining various genres, popular and serious. They have collaborated with dancers, artists and theatre people and have performed in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Cuba. Kung and Suart have also performed independently around the world.

Their major works often draw on works of literature: Side 3 - The Bridge (Kafka), Side 7 - Sleeping Beauty (Kawabata and the fairytale), Side 10 - Salome (Wilde and the Bible), Side 13 - Beauty and the Beast (the fairytale). The shows are not, however, musicals. Rather, a set of songs is presented theatrically using ideas from the text.
Kung studied composition in America. He is a performing musician, a composer for theatre and dance, and a teacher.Suart is an illustrator, a writer, a musician and a theatrical performer.

Website of 'the box':

Cast list
Kung Chi Shing – violin, computer, winds
Peter Suart – voice, keyboards, percussion
Chau Chin Tung – percussion
Cheung Yee Sik - percussion
Eli Fung – voice, keyboards
Rob Lamont – guitar, bass, keyboards, voice
Veegay Lee – keyboards, accordion
Ogawa Mariko – movement, voice
Lo Yin Shan – video design
Billy Chan – lighting design
Lee Man Sang – props design

21 – 22 September 2007 (Fri - Sat) 8pm
Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre
$200, $160, $120
(all info from here)
Bloom suggests to our Macau citizens a different program in Hong Kong, with Peter Suart. And why not stay for the night and enjoy the evening lights of Lan Kwai Fong, for a change?


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