It’s cast is multicultural and its shows appeal to audiences around the globe: the brainchild of Richard Crawford returns to Hong Kong – an exclusive interview
Secret Theatre returns to Hong Kong with its latest show. Opening on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, the show runs until SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10.
TC catches up with the founder and creator of Secret Theatre, Richard Crawford.
Secret Theatre is finally back in Hk – why has it taken so long to return?
‘Yes, we are back in Hong Kong. It has taken a long time, but that’s because we’ve extended the run of our shows. We extended our run in London and we also opened in Singapore for the first time.
Just finding the space is extremely difficult. We are site specific and we wanted a really cool venue for the show. I’ve got it, and its perfect, its amazing, but that took a long time to find and to get that deal signed off.’
What’s different about this show?
‘This show is different from out last show, and has a different tone and mood from the past 3 shows. Maybe from an intellectual point of view we are pushing you to think more with this show. We are wanting more of an opinion. The audience has more power, less voyouristic and being in the narrative as supposed to this time, as a collective, making a cohesive, decisive decision that will let the story unfold and so make the show different every night.’
You’ve always sought to include more “local” performers in your productions, is this true?
‘Our performers are mixed. English, Scottish; homegrown Hong Kong’ers. Chinese/ Indian/ Filipino. We wanted the cast to reflect the cosmopolitan makeup of the city. ‘
Is this a new show or has it been performed elsewhere – and how was the response?
‘This show is a direct transfer from the show that we opened in London. It was hugely popular so much so that we had to extend the run. Its an extremely interesting think piece – almost like being immersed in a movie.
The audience loved it, and it went down well with the critics as well! If I could have extended it longer I would have. I think this one in particular is “one for everyone”. Some of my shows have been more for the guys or more for the girls, sometimes for an older or younger demographic; but this show, if you are a 16/ 17 year old guy or a 40/50 year old woman, I think this show will appeal right across the board.’
How is the HK audience different from other audiences around the world and how do you adapt to that?
‘I would say that the audiences between New York, Singapore, London, Hong Kong all have a similar vibe. In Hong Kong however, the audiences seem to lean towards a full nights entertainment, which would include food at the event; whereas in London it is typical to separate going for dinner and going to the theatre. But even in London, for immersive theatre, as you are often on your feet, things are adapting.
So we’ve tried to mirror that by having an amazing dinner collaboration with Aaharn TaiKwan, which is a fantastic Thai restaraunt, which is going to be part of the narrative as well. So the audience, if they choose, are going to have the option to have an amazing deal for dinner before and after the show.’
Whats in the near future for Secret Theatre? and can we hope for shows more than once a year?
‘We were just looking to do a collaboration towards the end of this year with a huge entertainment production company which will allow us to do more productions across the world. Our next ventures are likely to be, London, ShangHai and New York, before returning to Singapore and Hong Kong.
To do anymore shows more than once a year is, at the moment, unlikely. The shows take so long to develop and I always want to be proud of what I put out there rather than just knock shows out.
But in a few years time, if we have grown even further, having more than one show a year in these locations would be great.
But as it stands, we will try to make these shows more accessible to more people and to extend the shows for longer periods of time. What sometimes happens is that people find out about the show once the shows already finished.’
For more information on how to buy tickets for the Hong Kong show, visit: www.secretthreatres.com