By Arthur Tam
The wait is over – Taikoo Place’s next engagement programme, PROJECT AFTER 6: Cube Culture, takes over the new ArtisTree this month! So, why should you see this original musical produced in collaboration with Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation? Here are 11 reasons.
1. It’s an original musical by Taikoo Place!
It's not every day that Hong Kong gets its own original musical, especially a comedy sponsored by a corporate complex that’s daring enough to poke fun at itself and the city’s intense work culture. The series of PROJECT AFTER 6 programmes, which include Cube Culture, are part of Taikoo Place’s goal of engaging the wider community to promote sustainable development of the property and its people as a whole.
2. It’s relatable
Anyone who has ever had a nine-to-six job in an office can relate to the nonsensical and frustrating aspects about work. Jargon-driven meetings that go nowhere, gossip about colleagues’ relationships, the hectic morning commute – it’s all in Cube Culture. It will be difficult not imagining your own experiences when watching the show. And if you don’t have a traditional desk job, the musical will make you feel ever so thankful that you don’t. For those who are not familiar with the Hong Kong work scene, visit popular local platforms like 100Most or U Magazine where many workers gather and exchange ups and downs.
3. The cast is part of your community
The 30 cast members who make up PROJECT AFTER 6: Cube Culture come from diverse backgrounds and either work in Taikoo Place or are part of the greater Quarry Bay community. You have millennials and baby boomers, locals and expats, seasoned performers and first-timers. You also have representation from a range of professions; the performers include insurance officers, architects, teachers, lawyers and civil servants, who all come together to showcase their talent and challenge their abilities. Get to know more about the cast members from our interviews: Whatever you say boss (Part 1) & (Part 2).
4. Support your colleagues
Show a bit of team spirit and acknowledge how much time and effort a colleague has put into something that they are passionate about. You’ll also get to see a different side of them that’s hidden in the normal workday.
5. Sir David Frederick Attenborough
Yes, the one and only Sir David Attenborough of the BBC! The voice of the famous “Life on Earth” series in the ‘80s will have a very special part in the musical. You’ll have to watch the show to find out how he’s involved.
6. The musical is co-written by an award-winning music director
Nick Harvey, who has worked on several Emmy- and BAFTA-winning shows, has composed 12 original songs for this musical, with orchestrations influenced by different music genres. See what he said when we talked to him about his inspirations, Beyoncé being one of them.
7. Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation (YAF) founder Lindsey McAlister is a co-writer
McAlister has become something of a Hong Kong arts legend, having run YAF for over 20 years – an effort that has earned her the prestigious title of OBE. True to her dedication to Hong Kong's youth, she's written a clever script for PROJECT AFTER 6: Cube Culture. Check out our interview with her here.
8. Laugh, cry and smile
Let your heart swell from the star-crossed lovers or burst out in laughter as the crazed, spiritual motivational speaker tries to sell self-help to a group of skeptical employees. This musical is going to have you feeling a range of emotions.
9. Come judge millennials
If your pet died, would you call in work for a personal day? Depending on how you answer, Cube Culture will either define you as a bright, young millennial or a baby boomer who has no time for nonsense. But perhaps amid all the accusations of entitlement today’s young people have to face, the older generation can at least try to see from a new perspective and we can all come to a satisfying compromise. You’ll have to watch the musical to find out the conclusion to this intergenerational battle.
10. It’s for charity
All the proceeds from the musical will go towards the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, a charity dedicated to providing a platform for our city’s young people to express their creativity.
11. It’s held at the new ArtisTree
If you haven’t made it to the revamped multifunctional art space, now is your chance. For PROJECT AFTER 6: Cube Culture, ArtisTree will transform into a colourful stage with a set designed by artist Marsha Roddy, who has worked on a number of musicals like Sweeney Todd, Rent, Spring Awakening, Godspell and Chorus Line, as well as with major fashion brands on large events.