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National Youth Theatre of Great Britain X HKYAF X ArtisTree Jointly Present “FLOOD” Original Theatre Experience on Water

27 Jul 2018
This September, 22 of Hong Kong’s top young talents star in the world premiere of an original theatre performance – FLOOD – a brand new piece written by award-winning British playwright Rory Mullarkey. A co-production with National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT), Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (HKYAF) and Taikoo Place’s ArtisTree, FLOOD brings together an internationally renowned team to create a breath-taking piece of theatre filled with action-packed suspense and heartfelt raw emotions.
 
“ArtisTree is designed as a platform for innovative and thought-provoking productions, and this new theatrical work will engage audience with striking set design and features and a unique narrative about environment issues,’ Babby Fung, Head of Office Marketing of Swire Properties said, ‘With the participation of the young and talented actors recruited by the world’s famous NYT and our long-term partner HKYAF, we are looking forward to presenting this intriguing and experiential production in September this year.”

HKYAF and ArtisTree are delighted to be collaborating with NYT on this bold and beautiful production. Being the world’s first youth theatre company, NYT has fostered the careers of many British actors, including Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Rosamund Pike, Orlando Bloom and Chiwetel Ejiofor CBE, and musician Ed Sheeran. 

Last summer, the creative team selected a cast of 22 talented young multinational performers aged 13 to 21 in Hong Kong, bringing FLOOD to life through diverse theatrical features, including choral speaking, physical components and digital imagery. Taking inspiration from flooding as a major global issue around the world, the performance is written in the style of eloquent contemporary verse that explores the consequences of flooding and salvaging hope in the midst of despair. 

Rory Mullarkey
(Writer) was the youngest writer to have his work performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre’s main stage at the age of 25. Having studied Russian at Cambridge University, he has expanded his scope of work writing original plays, translating Russian and Ukrainian drama texts, along with writing libretti for the Royal Opera House and Garsington Opera. 

His inspiration for FLOOD came from his love for cities by the sea: 

“They sit there, solid as facts, filled with all the delicate and complicated and magnificent things people can make, perched on the edge of nature's simplest abyss. It's amazing how fragile they are. What if the water just... rose?”

Taking the theme of flooding further, Mullarkey looked at ancient Greek dramas and wrote FLOOD in a “direct, language-led” manner that includes a choral-structure that echoes choruses from ancient Greek tragedies. Captivated by age-old questions that these ancient dramas tried to answer, he poses the same questions in FLOOD

 “…if we lost everything we hold dear – our homes, our possessions, our families, our friends – then who would we be? And what would we become?"

Designing with Water

Surpassing conventional theatre traditions, FLOOD also pushes the boundaries of theatre-making by incorporating an innovative set design and striking digital images with real water on stage! In creating the right atmosphere to convey the story, Joel Scott (Director) and Alex Lowde (Designer) were inspired by numerous water imagery, including images of the flood from the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. The result is an ambitious design feat by flooding the theatre space at ArtisTree with an extensive pool of water, alongside a movable mountainous structure in the middle of the pool and digital projection of continually shifting imagery designed by Dick Straker (Projection Designer).

Together with Mullarkey’s impassioned writing and Lowde’s remarkable watery design, Neil Callaghan (Movement Director) further complements the script by choreographing articulate movement sequences with the Hong Kong cast. He focuses on ensemble work by developing a movement language to deliver the complex emotions throughout the performance, letting the body speak when words fail to describe.

Towards the Flood and Beyond
The production of FLOOD marks the first collaboration between HKYAF and NYT. Both organisations are passionate about providing young people with high-quality creative opportunities and access to working with top artists worldwide. FLOOD provides a unique occasion for the young cast to work with some of the world’s leading artists on a professional production. At the same time, the cast will gain valuable life skills that will boost their confidence in teamwork, communicating effectively and taking ownership of their achievements.

Paul Roseby OBE
, CEO and Artistic Director of NYT said “It is a privilege for us here at the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain to be staging work in Hong Kong for the first time and we hope this project will lead to further ambitious collaborations, international friendships and shared creative and educational learning between our two organisations.”  

FLOOD Workshops – Ahead of the Storm

Along with the professional production of FLOOD, the creative team from NYT and HKYAF also presents a series of public creative theatre workshops from July to August. Supported by Taikoo Place, this is an exclusive opportunity for the team to share their expertise in creating immersive theatre, set and costume design, movement, narration, puppetry and more. From young aspiring actors and creatives to theatre-makers and teachers, the workshops are a feast of creativity for everyone to experience creating theatre with internationally acclaimed artists.
For more information, please visit www.hkyaf.com.

Details on Free Workshops at ArtisTree

Immersive Theatre for Theatre Makers and Teachers
26/7/2018     18:30-20:30
Join director Joel Scott and movement director Neil Callaghan to explore the relationship between audience and performance, and performer and performance. The workshop touches on the work of Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal, the Italian Futurists, and contemporary immersive theatre companies from the UK, such as Punchdrunk and Goat and Monkey.

Set and Costume Design Workshop for Young Actors and Creatives
2/8/2018    18:30-20:30
Award-winning designer Alex Lowde leads an exciting and practical workshop for aspiring young actors and creatives who would like to explore the world of contemporary design for the stage.

Movement Workshop for Artists and Youth

9/8/2018    18:30-20:30
Led by Neil Callaghan, this workshop draws on the work of contemporary movement and dance practitioners from Europe. Neil has performed and created award-winning work across multiple continents over the last two decades.

Show Details

School Performances 
21 September 2018 4:00pm

Public Performances

20 – 22 September 2018 7:30pm
22 September 2018 11:00am; 3:00pm

Venue: ArtisTree, 1F Cambridge House, Taikoo Place
Price: Adults $100; Concessions $50
Box Office: Tickets on sale on 31 July & 1 August on Taikoo Place’s APP Taikoo Social;
from 3 August 2018 through Ticketflap
Duration: Approximately 70 minutes with no intermission
Language: Performed in English. Suitable for ages 12 and above

 Visit www.hkyaf.com for more details.

About ArtisTree
As a keen supporter of arts and culture, Swire Properties introduced ArtisTree, a unique venue for visual and performing arts, to Taikoo Place in 2008, to make diverse arts and cultural events accessible to local communities. Since its launch, ArtisTree has made a significant contribution to Hong Kong's arts scene, with landmark events including the inaugural Vivienne Westwood A Life in Fashion exhibition, Outside the Box | Frank Gehry exhibition and Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection and ZAHA HADID: There Should Be No End To Experimentation. To facilitate the ongoing redevelopment of Taikoo Place, ArtisTree relocated to Cambridge House in June 2017. The new ArtisTree has been upgraded into a flexible 7,000-sq-ft dynamic space completed with professional theatre-standard stage lighting and audio-visual technologies to accommodate more diverse programmes of creative arts. www.taikooplace.com/en/artistree

About Taikoo Place

Taikoo Place is recognised as one of Hong Kong’s best-planned business hubs, managed by Swire Properties. The portfolio offers over 5 million sq ft of prime commercial space for local and multinational corporations. A wide range of cosmopolitan business and leisure amenities are situated within the area, including the multi-purpose venue ArtisTree, the co-working hub Blueprint, the private members’ club The Refinery, the landscaped garden Taikoo Park, and restaurants and cafes. Within five-minute walking distance are the shopping mall Cityplaza and the lifestyle business hotel EAST, Hong Kong. www.taikooplace.com

About Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation
Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (HKYAF) is a charity that provides access to high quality, non-competitive free-of-charge arts experiences for young people aged 5 to 25. Established in 1993 by Lindsey McAlister OBE, JP, HKYAF organizes inclusive and inspirational projects that reach out to youngsters of all cultures, backgrounds, languages and abilities, and actively creates opportunities for those who are disadvantaged and underprivileged. Each year, HKYAF reaches over 800,000 people through its projects, exhibitions and performances. www.hkyaf.com

About National Youth Theatre of Great Britain
National Youth Theatre of Great Britain (NYT) was established in 1956 as the first youth theatre in the world. Over the past 60 years it has nurtured the talent of hundreds of thousands of young people and continues to be recognised as a world-leading youth arts organisation. Today the National Youth Theatre discovers, develops and platforms exceptional performers and theatre technicians aged 14 – 25. It produces new writing and nurtures emerging talent. Since 2008, the company has delivered ground-breaking cultural exchanges with young men and women in Beijing and Saudi Arabia, and represented Britain welcoming athletes from around the world to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. www.nyt.org.uk




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