Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Bee.

Trevor and Nancy's last day in Hon Kong. We headed back to the Cultural Centre to catch the matinee of The Bee an adaptation of a short story by Japanese writer Yasutaka Tsutsui, which has been hauled in from the Soho starring Kathryn Hunter and Marcello Magni, who occasionally lectures for Drama St Mary's.

The show is a deeply disturbing morality tale centred on Mr Ido, a Tokyo business man, who returns home one night to find that his wife and son are being held hostage by Ogoro, an escaped convict. Unhappy at police and media efforts to resolve the situation he takes matters into his own hands, storms Ogoro's own flat and enacts a kidnap of his own.

What begins as Dario Fo-like absurdity soon takes on a darker side as Ido begins to grow into the role of violent fugitive, repeatedly raping Ogoro's wife, whilst cutting off the fingers of the boy to send through the post as a tit for tat response to the convict's own torturous behaviour.

Hunter is hugely impressive as Ido. Compact and committed, she is the fulcrum of the show, brilliantly shifting from slapstick to more complicated moments of self-gratifying sadism. Her cross gendered casting is playfully mirrored by director Hideki Noda, who casts himself as Ogoro's abused and ultimately submissive wife.

Hong Kong seems very much on the international touring circuit and this year sees the 40th anniversary of the arts festival. Once again I couldn't help notice how coiffured and monied the audience were. I'm looking forward to seeing what the city produces for itself.

No comments: