Watch "An Invitation: On Empty Theatre" by West Kowloon Freespace And Edward Lam Dance Theatre

Standing alone in a black box theatre, facing an empty auditorium, 30 Hong Kong-based actors reflect on the meaning of theatre in the absence of audience and performers. Created in response to Covid-19-related lockdowns, closures and cancellations, these profound and heartfelt filmed monologues are presented as a series of short personal portraits.

Right now, the theatre industry faces an uncertain future.

Since the outbreak of the global pandemic at the beginning of 2020, closures, cancellations, travel restrictions and lockdowns have had a major impact on theatres, actors and industry workers around the world.

This June, in Hong Kong, Edward Lam Dance Theatre and Freespace – the centre for contemporary performance at the West Kowloon Cultural District – invited 30 Hong Kong-based actors to place themselves inside an empty theatre, and reflect on their relationship with the audience and the meaning of theatre, both as a space and as an art form, in the absence of audience and performers.

There were no rehearsals. Standing alone, facing an empty auditorium, each artist produced intuitive, heartfelt, short solo monologues responding to the space and exploring the nature of theatre when live performance is impossible.

The full series is available online at West Kowloon’s YouTube channel:

An Invitation: On Empty Theatre is co-produced and co-presented by Edward Lam Dance Theatre and Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong.


About West Kowloon Cultural District
Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, the West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the world’s largest cultural developments. Its vision is to create a vibrant cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performance spaces and museums, the district will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including an art park and a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.

About Freespace
Freespace – Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performance in the heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District – presents multi-genre performances and events, produces boundary-pushing collaborations, and promotes new ways of seeing and experiencing performance. Partnering with emerging and established artists from Hong Kong and around the world, we nurture diverse creative voices and bring works that challenge and redefine the role of performing arts for our age.

About Edward Lam Dance Theatre

Founded in 1991 by Hong Kong playwright and theatre director Edward Lam, Edward Lam Dance Theatre is a Hong Kong-based troupe creating pioneering original Chinese-language works in collaboration with artists in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. Edward Lam is known for producing provocative avant-garde work on themes of gender and identity. As a writer, he has created scripts for around 60 stage productions, as well as the screenplay for Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan’s film Red Rose, White Rose (1994).

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