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Taikoo Place Insiders: The Cast of “PROJECT AFTER 6: Mou Man Tai” The English Musical


Last month, PROJECT AFTER 6: Mou Man Tai took Taikoo Place by storm, with sell-out audiences coming to see the brand new musical-comedy about Hong Kong life directed and written by Lindsey McAlister – and performed by office executives from Taikoo Place and beyond, many of whom were novices to the stage. The show was the perfect vehicle for the city’s office community to connect, create and tap into their hidden talents – with incredible results!

Now the dust has settled, we spoke to six cast members who work at Taikoo Place – Bernice Yu, Vice President, Group Human Resources at HKT; Jaci Maranan, former Chief Finance Officer of Suntory Hong Kong; Jasper Chan, Head of Corporate Communications, Greater China at Julius Baer; Ray Chan, Senior Associate at Baker McKenzie; Richard Lai, Senior Editor of Engadget; and Stanley Lui, Founder of White Hat Guys – to learn more about their Mou Man Tai journey.

How did you find out about PROJECT AFTER 6: Mou Man Tai and why did you decide to audition?

Ray: I spotted the Mou Man Tai masterclasses in the Taikoo Place newsletter; I initially only signed up out of curiosity – and to destress from my hectic work life! Lindsey McAlister’s encouraging, welcoming attitude at the masterclass convinced me to audition. I hadn’t really found a hobby since starting work and realised I wanted to re-pursue my passion for musical theatre, which I hadn’t done since high school.

Richard: On that special day, I punched in my floor number at the Devon House lifts and was assigned one I rarely used. I saw a poster inside for the Mou Man Tai masterclasses, with the last session taking place later that day. I quickly emailed Swire Properties and was assured I could still join – it was meant to be!

Stanley: I joined the first PROJECT AFTER 6 back in 2014 and have been following Taikoo Place’s social platforms ever since. When I saw that Lindsey would be directing Mou Man Tai, I signed up to audition as soon as registration opened!

How did you find transitioning from your day job to rehearsals and shows?

Bernice: It was de-stressing to truly put work aside and walk into rehearsals and performances with my full attention and commitment – without being distracted by social media, calls and meetings. Under Lindsey’s directions and empowerment, we put our collective creativity into co-creating scenes, which made Mou Man Tai a great show and all of us a very bonded, collaborative team.

Jasper: I was initially unsure about committing to rehearsals because of my busy day job – but once I gave my heart and soul to rehearsing, it was really energising and fulfilling.

Stanley: I found the transition to be extremely therapeutic. Theatre is the perfect counterweight to my “colour-inside-the-lines” corporate life – in theatre, I can be as creative as possible!

“Theatre is the perfect counterweight to my “colour-inside-the-lines” corporate life – in theatre, I can be as creative as possible!”
Stanley Lui

Aside from performance abilities, what other skills did the experience help you unlock?

Jaci: I felt Mou Man Tai’s success really came from the cast’s teamwork and understanding how to achieve our goals; while Lindsey gave us directions, she also allowed us to co-create scenes. The experience really reinforced my belief in teamwork, empowerment, clarity of directions and “sharing the vision” of leaders and managers in a corporate set-up.

Ray: Speaking to my castmates and the production team – who mostly work in different industries to me – was inspiring. I now realise that the world is so big with many opportunities; it is possible to pursue an interest while having a full-time job! After Mou Man Tai, I have a completely different view of life.

Did you have any pre-show rituals?

Bernice: Sipping “bee juice”! Several of us were introduced to salty bamboo bee tea, a Chinese herbal remedy brewed in hot water, to clear and soothe our voices before performing.

Ray: Our pre-show group hugs energised and bonded us as a team.


What was the most rewarding part of your Mou Man Tai journey?

Jaci: Firstly, the beautiful friendships I made with our amazing diverse cast and crew; secondly, self-rediscovery. I felt re-energised and realised I have so much more to give! No human is one-dimensional – we can excel at being both corporate executives and having other passions and talents.

Jasper: I never expected to earn such friendships among our cast; the genuine love, care and support between us is like family. We worked so hard together for over three months – not for money or anything tangible but simply to put on a great show and create the best memories.

What are some of your favourite things about working in Taikoo Place? What do you think makes it unique?

Bernice: There’s just so much happening! I enjoy going to events in the area to clear my mind from my busy day job and strolling around Quarry Bay Park for some breeze.

Jaci: My old office in Cambridge House overlooks Mount Parker, King’s Road and Quarry Bay MTR station. When I wanted to see action, I looked down to see people criss-crossing King’s Road; when I wanted peace, I looked at the mountain and watched the hawks fly by. Mount Parker has a nice hiking trail too and its starting point is just ten minutes from Cambridge House.

Jasper: It’s a newer CBD with more cultural elements and truly feels like a community! I hope that PROJECT AFTER 6 can continue providing performing opportunities for hidden talents in Taikoo Place and beyond.

Ray: ArtisTree is a truly unique, smart, multifunctional space that can transform to host different events. I especially appreciate the effort Taikoo Place puts into promoting arts and culture in the area, which is often hard to find in business or commercial developments.

Richard: I was already a fan of Tong Chong Street Market long before our company moved to Taikoo Place; it successfully created a community of people and brands who are passionate about food and sustainability. There are so many tasty food and drink options in the ‘hood, like TREEHOUSE, Omusubi, Hole Foods and KIN Food Halls – and I’m already looking forward to the White Christmas Street Fair!

Stanley: I really resonate with Taikoo Place’s communal vibe and that “work-life balance” isn’t just lip service here. PROJECT AFTER 6 and activities like the art exhibitions, music concerts and street markets that happen regularly show that Swire Properties walks-the-talk!

What advice would you give to people interested in participating in future PROJECT AFTER 6 initiatives?

Bernice: Don’t wait – go for it!
Jaci: Just do it!
Jasper: It’s going to be incredibly fun.
Ray: If not now, when? #YOLO!
Richard: Bring friends and enjoy the ride – you’ll meet so many awesome people.
Stanley: It’s fantastic and life-changing – you won’t want to miss it!

How would you sum up your Mou Man Tai experience in one word?

Bernice: Awesome.
Jaci: Amazing.
Jasper: Mind-blowing.
Ray: Life-changing.
Richard: Magical.
Stanley: Connection.

Find out more about PROJECT AFTER 6 here.

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