HONG KONG – As we go about our daily lives, we tend to forget the invisible people who cross our path. In Invisible Men, which premiered at the HKRep Black Box Theatre in 2015, witness an encounter between two men trapped in a lift, providing the audience much room for thought on how the people living in society’s margins eke out a living today.
The play was nominated for Best Script at the 8th Hong Kong Theatre Libre and Adam Tang Yu Ting (as Sung Shui) won Best Actor that year. Written by Chan Siu Tung and directed by Chan Wing Chuen, this production of Invisible Men features Eddy Au Yeung, Adam Tang Yu Ting, Chan Kiu, Ng Ka Leung, Tunes Ting, Trickle Choi and Kalok Chan.
In Invisible Men, a bottled-water deliveryman (Sung Shui) and courier (Shun Fung) find themselves trapped in a lift. Shun Fung longs for a short respite from work, while Sung Shui wishes to be rescued as soon as possible and finish his job. In this long night, the two men while away their boredom, coming face to face with opposite philosophies of life. Do they have the right to choose? Are we even aware of them as we rush about our daily lives?
HKRep Artistic Director Anthony Chan comments: “Invisible Men centres around two deliverymen, adding a fresh and interesting perspective on character-types. The playwright is sensitive in portraying the labourers who brush past us daily, offering us a glimpse into the resentment and sense of helplessness of the grassroots in Hong Kong society. As I have often mentioned, many of our younger generation of playwrights care strongly about society. Chan Siu Tung’s script about deliverymen trapped in a lift is a metaphor for Hong Kong’s young generation unable to find their way forward: one can survive, but what does it mean to live? Invisible Men makes us ponder Hong Kong society today—a setting that’s almost akin to a city of sadness!”
Playwright Chan Siu Tung recalls the impetus for this script, commenting: “I was once trapped in a lift with two deliverymen, just like what happens in the play. As they debated who should press the alarm bell they completely ignored me. I was rendered invisible. Do I ‘count’? This is what prompted me to write Invisible Men. This has been a six-year journey, from first draft to landing on the HKRep Main Stage. Before every run of this play, I would review the script to retool materials that might have lost their relevance. But this time, the process was far more difficult and complex. Reality inspires me, but I feel conflicted with a reality I do not wish for. In this version, the crux of the matter becomes even clearer. It is ‘the very being of Hong Kong’.”
Invisible Men plays from 16th to 24th October 2020 at the Hong Kong Arts Centre Shouson Theatre. More information and tickets available here