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German avant-garde theatre group to stage "Richard III" in December
     German theatre group Schaubühne Berlin will visit Hong Kong with its unconventional production "Richard III" in December.

     Directed by leading German contemporary theatre director Thomas Ostermeier and translated by Marius von Mayenburg, the production depicts Richard III - the most charming villain in Shakespeare's plays - in a new European theatrical style.

     Richard III is known for his moral autonomy and virtuoso art of manipulation. Ostermeier tackles Shakespeare's renowned play in a new translation by von Mayenburg that changes English verses into German prose to keep as close to the text's meaning as possible. Featuring live video, live drum music and puppetry, this traditional historical play is transformed into an extraordinary and avant-garde one that not only paints a portrait of Richard III who is more than just a serial killer, but also reveals the instincts hidden inside every man.

     Born prematurely, the hideous Richard is a deformed, hobbling, hunchbacked cripple who on the battlefields of the Wars of the Roses - which flared up after the death of Henry V - served his family and above all his brother Edward well. Edward becomes the king, thanks to a number of murders carried out on his crippled brother's own initiative. The end of war, however, brings Richard no peace. His hatred for the rest of the world, to which he will never belong, lies too deep. And so he does what he does best and kills some more, clearing away every obstacle that lies in his path to become the king.

     If fate prevents him from being part of a society of those blessed by good fortune, he will at least lord over them. He pits his rivals against each other with political cunning, unscrupulously exploits the ambitions of others for his own ends and strides spotless through an immense bloodbath until there is no one left above him and the crown is his. But even this triumph, purchased with the death of enemies, allies and relatives alike, still fails to heal the great insult that nature has visited upon him. Alone at the apex of the English kingdom and deprived of all his adversaries, he now turns his rage on his true nemesis - himself.

     Schaubühne Berlin was founded in 1962. One of the theatre's distinctive features is its stylistic variety in approaches to directing. The search for a contemporary and experimental theatre language which focuses upon storytelling and a precise understanding of texts, both classical and contemporary, is a unifying element. The repertoire encompasses the great dramatic works of world literature alongside contemporary plays from internationally renowned writers.

     "Richard III" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be performed in German, with English and Chinese surtitles, at 7.45pm on December 29 and 30 (Thursday and Friday) and at 5pm on December 31 (Saturday) at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. This programme contains nudity, violence and smoking scenes, adult content and coarse language.

     Tickets priced at $180, $280, $380 and $480 are now available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7325 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/theatre/program_1233.html.
Ends/Thursday, October 6, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:20
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