The making of Hong Kong Shakespeare: post-1997 adaptations and appropriations

Lau, Leung Che Miriam (2018). The making of Hong Kong Shakespeare: post-1997 adaptations and appropriations. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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2017 marked the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China after 156 years of British colonial rule. As the ensuing chapters will show, the rapid socio-political changes which have overtaken Hong Kong during those two decades, and the question of how the city is now to view its cultural identity in relation both to its former colonial master and to the People’s Republic into which it has officially been subsumed, are nowhere more richly reflected than in the Shakespearean productions staged by local repertory companies since the handover. Adopting a cultural materialist reading in this neocolonial context, my thesis examines post-1997 Hong Kong Shakespeare that comment variously on the identity of the city through staging sinicized, aestheticized and socio-politicised versions of the plays. My introduction contextualizes Hong Kong’s position on the current intellectual map of Asian Shakespeare, arguing that Hong Kong Shakespeare should not be subsumed under the heading of Chinese Shakespeare. Chapter One discusses Richard Ho’s Hamlet: Sword of Vengeance, which though premièred in the colonial era was later tellingly restaged in Hong Kong and in England after the handover. Chapter Two analyses the configuration of China as an aesthetic metaphor in Tang Shu-wing’s Titus Andronicus 2.0 and Macbeth. Chapter Three discusses the emergence of a new Hong Kong identity in Hardy Tsoi’s Julius Caesar and Shamshuipo Lear. Chapter Four establishes the necessity of considering Hong Kong’s counter discourse to China’s centrism in Jimmy Lee’s Post-The Taming of the Shrew. Sandwiched between the colonial and the neocolonial, Hong Kong Shakespeare generates an independent narrative of its own through struggle and cultural negotiation.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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