We were pleased to host an exciting solo performance of It Won't Be Long Now at our Founders Studio, directed, written and performed by Indy Lee in both English and Cantonese.
This solo performance tells the stories of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (from 1941 to 1945), portraying the lives of the civilians outside the Sham Shui Po camp for 3 years and 8 months, experiencing "liberation" and "modifications." Despite the circumstances, they persist with their willpower, displaying a burning desire for survival, dignity, and the radiant side of human nature. They are not afraid, they do not despair, and they believe in tomorrow!
Indy Lee reflects on his performance of It Won't Be Long Now at GSA. Read below:
On October 23, 2023, I completed the performance of “It Won’t Be Long Now” at Lighthouse’s neighbourhood venue and then got packed. Before dusk, we arrived at the Guildford School of Acting to perform for the students. This collaboration was made possible by reconnecting with GSA Head of School, Professor Catherine McNamara, who was the Course Leader of my master's programme when I was studying in the UK. With her strong initiative and efficient colleagues, we quickly arranged the performance date, venue, equipment, and front of house. Despite my simple technical requirements, staff at GSA arranged video conferences in addition to email communication to understand the day's schedule and preparations.
Although the performance took place in a performance studio, there was still basic lighting and sound equipment. The backstage crew helped with set-up. It was a family production team with my wife, son, and daughter handling props, sound, and subtitles control respectively. Surprisingly, my daughter ended up taking photos and controlling the lighting, moving in and out of the control panel and the auditorium. She took off her boots to avoid making noise, displaying a remarkable level of professionalism.
After the performance, I had a pleasant talkback with the students. They asked which city I found the most interesting to perform in, and I mentioned the performance at the Taipei Fringe Festival. It was held in a non-theatre space and at a very intimate distance from the audience. Taiwan, like Hong Kong, has a history of colonization. On top of that, each show was composed of half Hongkongers and half Taiwanese, creating a sense of reunion.
I also had the opportunity to interact with fellow students from GSA. The atmosphere was amicable, and when asked about the most interesting city to perform in, I mentioned the Taipei Fringe Festival. I described the unique experience of performing in a small, non-theatrical venue and a very intimate distance from the audience. Taiwan, like Hong Kong, has a history and impact of colonization. Additionally, half of the audience in each performance was composed of Hong Kongers and Taiwanese, creating a sense of reunion.
During the strikeout, I talked to Hong Kong students studying at GSA. They came from various backgrounds: One was a friend of a Chinese student who had attended my class, one was from Taiwan, one was BBC who couldn't speak Cantonese, one watched PIP family shows from a young age, one had completed a degree and moved on to musical theatre, one was a student of applied theatre. All of them are full of vitality and passion.
Taking a group photo with the performers and the audience is the curtain call of Hong Kong-style theatre. We interacted with the audience in this way shared with my comrades in my earlier days, but we were told it was "amateurish fun" by our teachers. Now, bringing this "culture" to British theatre, it seems like everyone is receptive to it.
Indy Chun Leung Lee
Indy is a veteran theatre director, actor, drama educator, Applied Theatre practitioner, and arts administrator. He has relocated to the UK from Hong Kong in the Summer of 2022. Recently, Indy co-directed “Cormorants” in Leeds Playhouse for Leeds Year of the Culture 2023, arranged the UK tours of “Embrace the Tastes of Life” for “Inspirational Drama Programme for Elderly”, and toured “It Won’t Be Long Now” in Edinburgh and Taipei Fringe Festival. It received the First Choice Award from Taipei Fringe.
It Won’t Be Long Now is created, directed, and performed by Indy Lee Chun-Leung (performed in Cantonese). This solo performance tells the stories around the period from 1941 to 1945 during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, portraying the lives of the civilians outside the Sham Shui Po camp for 3 years and 8 months, experiencing "liberation" and "modifications."
在23/10/2023下午，我完成了在Lighthouse 的《明日陽光燦爛》街坊演出場次，收拾行裝，黃昏前到達Guildford School of Acting演出學生場。緣起是我重遇在英國進修時的Catherine McNamara教授。她是我當年碩士課程的課程主任，去年九月她當上了GSA的Head of School。我順利成章找她合作，希望跟她的學生分享《明日陽光燦爛》這個演出。Catherine的行動力很強，同事亦非常有效率，演期、場地、設備及前台都在極速時間內安排妥當。即使我的技術要求簡單，學院的同事除了電郵往來，也安排視像會議，跟我了解當日的流程及準備。