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Hong Kong Theater: An Active Scene

The Hong Kong theater scene is extremely active, and proves that Hong Kong is far from being a ‘cultural desert’. Different Hong Kong theater groups offer high quality performances, and local playwrights are popular in the city. Do not miss out on a performance while you have the chance!
Monkey's Tale Theater, on Lantau Island, is famous for presenting stories of the Buddhist Jakata.

There are a number of excellent venues in Hong Kong for theater performances, from small and cozy playhouses to huge concert halls and cultural centers. Two arts festivals annually bring together Hong Kong theater performers with renowned international artists, offering everything from a wide range of performances to films and fashion.

Hong Kong Theater: Performances

Unfortunately, spending an evening at a Hong Kong theater is usually difficult for expats, as plays are performed in Cantonese. On the chance that you do understand the local language, popular Cantonese Hong Kong theater groups are the Chung Ying Theatre Company and the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre.

The Chung Ying Theatre Company is a non-profit community ensemble which is financially supported by the government. The ensemble often stages works by local Hong Kong theater playwrights and performs at schools and nursing homes as well as in professional venues across the city. The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre tends to perform original Chinese works in Cantonese at various venues.

As far as English-language theater performances are concerned, try the Fringe Club in Central Hong Kong. Located in a former dairy-farm depot, the club is a major venue for experimental drama, music, and comedy. While it occasionally produces its own performances, it often provides a stage for international artists touring Hong Kong.

Other major venues for theater performances are:

Some private companies also offer English-language performances in Hong Kong theaters. To find out more about programs at specific venues, please the database of cultural events in Hong Kong provided by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Hong Kong Theater: Festivals

If you are around in February and March, check out the festival for the performing arts in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Arts Festival. For three weeks, this festival is host to performers and actors from all over the world, who put together a magnificent program of Hong Kong theater, music, opera and dance, complete with local performers.

In past years, participants have included famous names such as the Wiener Philharmoniker, Paris Opera Ballet, José Carreras, Julian Lloyd Webber, the Shanghai Kunqu Theater and many more.

The Arts Festival’s smaller counterpart, the Hong Kong City Festival, is hosted by the above mentioned Fringe Club. Slightly more experimental, the City Festival also encompasses a wide selection of performances, ranging from theater and dance to film, fashion, and even food.

Hong Kong Theater: Getting Tickets

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong government runs its own ticketing system, making it easy for residents to buy passes to all sorts of cultural events. At the Urban Council Ticketing Office (URBTIX), you can purchase tickets for a range of theater performances, classical music concerts, Cantonese opera, rock and pop concerts, festivals and other major events. The service is available online and via telephone.


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