• Amy Toledano

Freedom Hi 自由閪 presented by Papergang Theatre

What is it?

Freedom Hi 自由閪 is a collaboration of Papergang Theatre Company actors, writers and filmmakers of Hong Kong and British East Asian Artists to portray experiences on the front lines of the Hong Kong Protests against the Chinese Government.

What's it all about?

Exploring the traumatic events of the on going protests in Hong Kong, told through five different pieces to create one complete piece of artistry.

How did it make me feel?

Going into the space you don’t really know what you are about to witness. Before it starts we are all asked to join a messenger group which is linked to a protector in real time. What unfolds is very raw, emotional and at times disturbing. A moment that is very powerful is when one of actors playing Puss in the Booth is stating the names of some of the students who were found dead, while another actors peels an orange and splits them representing their lost lives. Because there is no linear story line as such, and each piece is a depiction of what is happening and what has happened, it is important to know the underlying facts before you go into this show.

For me this performance, this work of art, is so integral for the west to understand the struggles of the people of Hong Kong and how they are suffering everyday, as well as the brutality they are facing. Another moment that is hard to let go of is when boxes are put in places on the floor in the exact format the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the actors along with a video camera, show us the perilous route the students had to take in order to escape the Hong Kong police who were about to arrest them.

All the acting, soundscape and physical exploration in this piece of art are astounding. The performers speak not only English but Mandarin, and put more importance into the brutality of what is happening to the people of Hong Kong, even now.

Anything Else?

This production proves that the use of technology in theatre can work but as part of the storytelling, not as a substitute.

Claire-Monique x

Freedom Hi 自由閪 was playing in the Pit, VAULT Festival until the 15th March 2020.

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