Thursday, 2 December 2010


Recently my appreciation for performance art has been enriched. During a journey through Hong Kong I had experience of a thriving world of performing arts. Wanting to know more, I recently started a dialogue with aka Director Sweet and Sour productions. CM graduated from the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 2010. Born in Edinburgh she found inspiration from the Edinburgh festival and talk radio and now provides voice -overs for Fox and Star TV - you can hear her on Dexter Season 5 on Fox crime. CM arrived in Hong Kong in 2003 and since then has acted, directed and co-produced theatre! She has worked with some of the best theatre professionals in Hong Kong which include Sean Curran and Bonni Chan from Theatre du Pif and Lindsey McAlister, founder of The Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF.)

I spoke to CM to increase my understanding of theatres. My curiosity had grown into a culmination of questions. How does theatre connect people? What does performance allow an individual to experience? Is the cultural diversity of Hong Kong's population represented in the public arts & entertainments? What's your opinion on lighting and set design? What performance show are you currently involved with? Where?

CM: The quality of English-language theatre production in Hong Kong is something that I am very passionate about. In my view, the standard and quality of productions here is mixed and it is my goal to raise the bar and produce theatre that is of a professional standard. It is my aim to give the actors a rewarding, creative journey and the audience an entertaining and satisfying night out that is value for money.

Theatre at its best should be entertaining, informative, enlightening, stimulating and exciting. It is the role of the director to work closely and compassionately with the actors and production team to foster a collaborative environment where artistic and creative progress is made. The director should also be mindful of the sensitivities and needs of the artists and the work so that a balance is achieved between the interpretative skills of the artists and the intention and meaning on the page. A director should also have a vision for the piece and while this may grow and mature as the process develops, the director should also keep an eye on the end product. Therefore, the role of the director is to guide and shape the performers and piece and he or she should have a widescreen and aerial view of the work!

In 2009, I directed the following shows for the Hong Kong Theatre Association: Agnes of God and Talk Radio. I am currently working with YAF as a director for the “Ms Directing” project for the Noel Croucher Shakespeare Fund, which will take place at the end of May. I recently set up my own company called Sweet and Sour Productions Limited and I directed and produced Sleuth, by Anthony Shaffer, at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in October 2010.

Candice is currently rehearsing a contemporary thriller produced by The Hong Kong players called ‘Orphans’ written by Dennis Kelly and directed by Ahmed El-Alfy. Orphans has been given a Fringe First award 2009. The show is on from 8th-11th December and tickets are available from URBTIX outlets or

Find more about sweet and sour productions at

Mairead Gillespie

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