Ant Hampton: Someone Else (Hong Kong Version) — Participants' Response30.3.2016 | theatre.
In Someone Else, the audience become the performers in a multi-part structured encounter that mixes sincerity, confession and humour, asking you to move out of the ‘theatre’ space and contemplate approaching a stranger somewhere in the city. It is a truly unique experience that begins with a 45 minute audio encounter and continuing on the next day or two and perhaps even beyond. Diverse media – scraps of paper, highly realistic ‘binaural’ audio and the largest text display in Hong Kong – edge you delicately towards a radical kind of social imagination, a quiet revolution almost.
Our Performance Arts team had a chance to interview our audience and share their unique experience in this journey.
Hei: “As an audience, we’re too used to the perception of time in theatre where we experience all the ups and downs of a plot in two hours. Someone Else (Hong Kong Version) happens in real time without a concrete plot and a defined timeframe. This made the experience more stimulating and thought-provoking.”
Kit: “[The work] suggests that things like terrorism, or prejudices against Muslims, are caused by ignorance and misunderstandings that make us put people into categories and prevent us connecting. In the past, if I met a white collar guy in Central, I wouldn’t want to talk to him, because I wouldn’t think we had anything in common. But now I’d try. I think this kind of immersive experience can help spread ideas and bring about changes. Maybe we’ll all start to talk to one another, or talk to strangers here, at West Kowloon, from this afternoon on.”
Jacqueline: “The work makes you think about how we communicate with other people. When do we ever approach a complete stranger? Maybe it depends on the situation. Sometimes, if you’re in an old neighbourhood, like in Sai Wan where I work, you might start a conversation with the elderly woman next to you at lunch. But imagine if you’re in a metropolitan shopping mall and randomly start talking to strangers, people might think you’re a bit weird. Doing it in a ‘cha chaan teng’ in an old district wouldn’t be so unusual, but there are fewer and fewer of these kinds of places in Hong Kong now. ”
Mr Lau: “Normally, when you meet other people, even if neither of you has anything else to do, there’s no real chance to chat. But this work breaks that norm, like just now, with the recording. It makes us think about whether we can have this kind of interaction outside the theatre. I’m not sure if I can, but I’m not going to rule it out anymore.”