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1 Table 2 Chairs Experimental Series

“One table. Two chairs. Twenty minutes. Two performers.” – The rules are simple. The results, not that simple.

“One table two chairs” is the most basic staging used in traditional Chinese opera. When adapted by actors in their performance, the spatial possibilities are infinite. Every year, we invite artists from different background and disciplines to work on new experimental works. These performances will explore the relationship between the traditional and the contemporary arts through their multi-disciplinary approach towards theatre.

This year makes the fourth instalment of this experimental series with two adventurous directors Ma Jun Feng (Shanghai Theatre Academy), Liu Xiaoyi (The Theatre Practice) and five actors from Jiangsu Performing Arts Group Kun Opera Theatre and The Theatre Practice.

The two performances directed by Liu Xiao Yi were also presented at the Nanjing Experimental Theatre Festival 2016.

Date: 30 July – 2 August 2015

Venue: Creative Cube @ LASALLE College of the Arts

Festival: M1 Chinese Theatre Festival

Directors: Liu Xiaoyi, Ma Junfeng

Sound Designer: Ng Jing

Lighting Designer: Genevieve Peck

Cast: Zhao Yutao, Zhu Hong, Hung Chit-Wah Felix, Melissa Leung Hiu Tuen, Ng Mun Poh

Artist Notes (Danny Yung)
‘In a traditional play, one table and two chairs embody a deep significance. With a relatively simplistic theatre setting, a chair may depict a mountain, a bed, or perhaps a couch. Such is the most precious asset that has been preserved by tradition, and it is left to us to make what we can out of it. The significance of one table and two chairs is precisely because it is a dialogue with no hierarchy, a conversation between tradition and contemporary. If we were to merely place one table and two chairs on stage, thereafter filling it in with a performance, there is no artistry in that. Instead, let us examine how these performances conceptualise one table and two chairs, what happens in those twenty minutes, and what the two actors would do on stage – all of which are conventions herein. Conventions are necessary in creative work. Through conventions, we will gain an insight into what happens within convention, outside of convention and the boundaries of it. With this insight, we can understand our own stories, the history of the stage, and the world beyond; one table two chairs is one such convention.’