Titus Andronicus in Cantonese 泰特斯- The Globe Theatre

What a great way to start the Bank Holiday weekend! But such bad weather – cold and bleak with the threat of rain coming on. I wrapped up warm but I was still cold.

As a Cantonese speaker and well, not knowing what Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus was about, I booked a ticket anyway to see the translated version in Cantonese (this was before I booked the Mandarin play – Richard III). I booked the second and final showing on Friday 4th May.

This time instead of going towards London Bridge (to avoid traffic jams and people traffic) I went to the Globe via Blackfriars Bridge. So easy and quick to get to. There was hardly anyone blocking my way. And there is less pavement work going on over at that end!

Outside The Globe Theatre
A sign post of all the 37 different countries that are participating this year 

The play’s leaflet – The synopsis was in Simplified Chinese (should’ve been in Traditional)
and the rest was in Traditional Chinese – Editing error??

There was a camera crew who were filming this play. I sat right next to them in the back row! 

The Cameras ^^ – I didn’t expect any filming!

At the start, the standing audience started building up and suddenly a group of people walked straight onto the stage and into the backstage… The actors/actresses were in their normal clothes within the crowds, Wow, that’s different! They were just standing around in the audience like they were a part of the audience. ^^

The audience at the start of the play… So many people standing!! 

Not having read any reviews from Hong Kong or S.E. Asia, and from watching the Mandarin version of Richard III, I was expecting something similar in Titus Andronicus 泰特斯. But I was wrong… It was Shakespeare, but this time, with a Hong Kong twist!

The introduction felt modernised with the usage of chairs and stamping of feet. They weren’t acting towards each other but were talking/acting to the audience. It was a long introduction where they began with the death of the Roman Emperor, and suggesting who would succeed the throne… They suddenly got dressed into their costumes right in front of us… Now, that wasn’t expected 😀

Anyway on with the play. I found it quite barbaric in the first half with the rape of Titus’ daughter, the mutilations and the funny evil brothers… The Queen’s affair was a bit of a shock and the handsome prince in white died so quickly! There were some Cantonese references such as “wearing a green hat” (着綠帽) – the man or woman that commits adultery will wear a green hat. Hahah, Shakespeare must’ve really wanted his audience to shake in their boots with this play!!

My favourite part was the second half when Titus was planning on his revenge for his daughter and sons. The actor Andy Ng 吳偉碩 who played Titus did a good job of acting insane. The actress Ivy Pang 彭珮嵐 who played the Queen Tamora was brilliant too when she switched roles to play as Revenge and her sons as Murder and Rape! Incredibly funny! The most gruesome part was the cannibalism – but that was an act of revenge against the King (played by Masu Wong 黃兆輝 – who looks like Tony Leung from a distance – probably it was the hair!)
 and the Queen.

The actors welcoming the Director Tang Shu-wing 鄧樹榮 of the play 

Didn’t get the actor at the end on the right hand side… 

More applause ^^

The End!

I hope Hong Kong’s Tang Shu-wing’s Theatre Studio will bring more Cantonese productions to the UK ^_^ – Well done! 加油!

Only one annoying thing throughout the play were the planes 
again – I hate you planes! Stop flying over The Globe!!

More Cantonese plays please!!!

Interesting info:
Whilst searching about some of the actors from the play, I discovered the following website. It may be of interest to those who haven’t seen it. The clip (with English subs) is different in terms of costumes, stage and acting to the one shown at The Globe, which was re-adapted…



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