the friend online
25 July 2008

Starved of green - preview

Colin George recalls a visit to the Whitehead centre for Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong

I ran into the Academy for the Performing Arts, in Hong Kong, and crept breathlessly into the back of the darkened auditorium
  • A young Chinese actress – in the character of St Joan – walked to the front of the stage
  • As the lights focused down tightly on to this slim, vulnerable figure she fell to her knees, looked heavenward and said, with a passionate intensity, something in Chinese which I did not understand
  • The curtain came down on Shaw's play

  • Earlier that day, Shaw's St Joan was preparing for the first dress rehearsal at the Hong Kong Academy
  • I was working there as Head of Acting in 1989
  • I had planned to be present, but I had also promised to visit the Whitehead Vietnamese refugee centre and that commitment came first
  • I apologised to the Chinese director
  • 'I'll catch the second act,' I said, as I stuffed a copy of Shaw's play into my pocket

  • Colin George

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