Sweet Mandarin (4th Run)
An amazing family and their sweet and sour, hot and bitter lives.
Since its premiere in 2015, Sweet Mandarin had then been featured in Hong Kong Theatre Month in Shanghai (2018) and programmed in the Jockey Club New Arts Power festival (2020). Hong Kong diaspora seems to be a never-ending story, and thus, we find it timely reviving this heart-warming drama in Hong Kong.
11-12,18-19.11.2022 (Fri & Sat)
Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
Performed in Cantonese and English with bilingual surtitles.
The length of the performance is approximately 2 hours 15 minutes without intermission.
“You want to be a chef, instead of a lawyer?!”
Helen’s father is stunned. Catering is probably the most common business in the overseas Chinese community. The older Chinese generation labors day and night in order to free their younger generation of the chore of the kitchen. Helen, a British born Chinese, against all expectation leaves her lawyer job to set up her own restaurant. She discovers that her family cuisines are not only tasty but also full of dramatic stories, spanning almost a hundred years and crossing from Guangzhou via Hong Kong to England.
Helen Tse was awarded MBE for her contribution to the food and catering industry in UK in 2014. Her cookbook Dim Sum became a Times bestseller. In 2006, she put the remarkable journey of her family and her own into Sweet Mandarin, which was published in 33 countries to great acclaim. Pants Theatre Production’s Sweet Mandarin premiered in 2015, and in 2018 was invited to Shanghai. In 2020 it was revived in Jockey Club New Arts Power presented by Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
Diaspora is derived from Greek, which means “I scatter”, a state of being torn between one’s roots and feeling alienated in a foreign culture. Hong Kong is unique in its geographical and historical background, while Hong Kongers seem always in diaspora. Sweet Mandarin has been so relevant to Hong Kong and its people that Ting Yu, a theatre critic, has praised, “Cheang Tik Ki has given such a remarkable adaptation that the scenes with diverse temporal and geographical frames flows with engrossing drama, definitely one of the best play of the year.” He added, “The theatrical treatment has uplifted this family drama…it is unfolded with a swift and brisk pace.” Here and now in Hong Kong, whether you watch it for the first time or revisit it, Sweet Mandarin will undoubtedly give you a brand-new taste and flavour.
Original Author: Helen Tse
Playwright: Cheang Tik Ki
Director: Wu Hoi Fai
Actors: Ben So, Wong Hiu Yee*, Ko Siu Man, Law Ching Sum, Tam On Ting, Li Siu Tung
Choreographer and Movement Director:
Lui Yuen Wai
Set & Costume Designer: Suen Wing Kwan
Lighting Designer: Cheng Hoe Ling Sarah
Composer & Sound Designer: Ho Tsz Yeung
*With the kind permission of Hong Kong Repertory Theatre