March 2, 2021.
International • New • Online • Theatre
Are You O.K?
A satirical take on life in lockdown, created by diverse performers in Wales and China
Welsh Theatre Company Hijinx is working with No Limits Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF) to create a new devised show about life in lockdown created by participants from two different countries and cultures. Are you ok? Is a brand new show that will include a diverse group of performers based in Wales and Hong Kong that will be broadcast online on 6 March 2021.
This year’s No Limits Artist in Residence is an innovative co creation collaboration with Hijinx, spanning over 11 weeks, and providing opportunities for people with different abilities to share their stories and to enrich their theatre experiences by holding a series of newly developed online devised theatre workshops, creating a final showcase performance.
Hijinx’s Artistic Director Ben Pettitt-Wade, composer Tic Ashfield, and Hong Kong based writer/director Michelle Li have been working with an inclusive group of performers to devise the on-line production Are You Ok?, working in two languages, across two continents.
Are You OK? reflects on a world turned upside down and inside out by the pandemic in two different countries. The repetitive routine and the barriers that they have encountered. The moments of joy and the time of struggle. This diverse group of performers from Hong Kong and Wales look at a world in lockdown, on how life has changed, or stayed the same, on what and who we miss, on how we can help each other without being able to be with each other.
“The actors in Hong Kong have been some of the sweetest, kindest people I have ever worked with. They are very professional, and I am very honoured to be working with them. I hope I can work with them again. I find the traditions and language of the Hong Kong actors very beautiful. People should come to see two different cultures and languages come together as a team and how different countries are managing through the lockdown.”Faye Wiggan, Hijinx North Academy Actor
Are you OK? will be a live interactive performance, created on Zoom and presented on Zoom from the performer’s own homes. The performance will be in Cantonese and English with captions. The piece will have its own original sound and music created by BAFTA award winning composer Tic Ashfield.
“We feel very lucky and excited to be working with a mix of 28 artists from Hong Kong and Wales, devising “Are you OK?”, a live Zoom performance created across continents, languages and cultures and all without leaving our own homes. We can’t wait to share it with the world on the 6th March.”Ben Pettitt-Wade, Hijinx Artistic Director
First launched in 2019, No Limits Arts Festival is co-presented by the Hong Kong Arts Festival and The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, with the aim of creating a barrier-free environment and explore and promote inclusiveness and understanding through the arts.
Hijinx is one of Europe’s leading inclusive theatre companies, striving for equality by making outstanding art with learning disabled and/or autistic actors on stage, on screen, on the street, in the workplace, locally, nationally and internationally for Wales and for the world. Hijinx has continued to explore new ways of using technology to push the boundaries and continue to connect and create online during the recent pandemic, with the creation of a new interactive online commission, Metamorphosis for Green Man Festivals Field of Streams and continue their PAWB programme through online engagement.
Are you OK? will be streamed live from the performers’ homes in Hong Kong and Wales at 12pm(UK)/8pm(HK) on 6 March. Tickets are free.
To register for the Showcase, please go to: https://go.nolimits.hk/AIR2021regen
More information about the AIR Programme and the Showcase can be found on: https://go.nolimits.hk/AIR2021en
For further press information, images, or to arrange an interview please contact, Suzanne Carter Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org / 07885977044
Notes to the editor:
Hijinx is one of Europe’s leading inclusive theatre companies, striving for equality by making outstanding art with learning disabled and/or autistic actors on stage, on screen, on the street, in the workplace, locally, nationally and internationally for Wales and for the world.
The company’s acclaimed theatre work is original, surprising, edgy, and funny and is in huge demand across the globe, with productions including Meet Fred, The Flop and Into the Light travelling to over 20 countries in recent years.
Around Wales Hijinx Academies provide professional drama training for 70 uniquely talented actors. These Hijinx Actors, who have conditions such as Down’s Syndrome, Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, are at the heart of the company’s work in productions, in businesses and in community projects. They are promoted to the wider theatre, TV and film industries on www.hijinxactors.co.uk, the UK’s largest casting platform dedicated to actors with learning disabilities and/or autism.
Hijinx’s aim to see more actors with learning disabilities and/or autism on TV and film, as well as on stage. Hijinx Films produces stunning short films to raise the profile and impact of the unique talents of Hijinx actors, and in 2018, the company published recommendations for new screen industry standards for casting learning-disabled (neurodivergent) actors.
Hijinx Pawb offers a Wales-wide network of community drama courses for everyone who wants to act, regardless of ability or experience.
Alongside, Hijinx offers an award-winning, specialist training programme, which empowers staff in a wide range of businesses with the confidence and skills to communicate well with vulnerable customers.
For the latest Hijinx news and updates, see the website http://www.hijinx.org.uk.
Follow Hijinx on Twitter and Instagram @HijinxTheatre or Facebook.com/HijinxTheatre
Hijinx is generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales, The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, Lloyds Bank Foundation, Morrisons Foundation, The Rayne Foundation and BBC Children in Need.
Creative Concept & Director – Ben Pettit-Wade
Ben Pettitt-Wade is an award-winning director who has worked with artists with learning disability and/or autism for more than 20 years.
He has devised and directed numerous productions for Hijinx, including Meet Fred, an international touring phenomenon, which has been translated into 11 languages and has toured Europe, the USA, South Korea and China. In 2019 Pettitt-Wade co-directed with Kully Thiarai Mission Control, a Hijinx and National Theatre Wales collaboration with an inclusive cast of over 80, which was staged at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
He recently won Best Director at The Good The@tre Festival, an international festival of live online theatre, for Metamorphosis, which was created and presented on Zoom during the Covid-19 pan-demic.
Assistant Director and Text Editor – Michelle Li
Michelle Li is the founder and co-artistic director of Rooftop Productions. She holds an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a BA in English Studies from the University of Hong Kong. As well as a playwright, she is a theatre director, a performer, singer, producer and theatre educator. Her recent local works include, for Rooftop Productions, Testimony, The Furies Variations, Not The Maids, Lost Shoreline, Milk and Honey, The Beautiful Ones, A Series of Unexpected Events; and for the Hong Kong Arts Festival: a rehearsal log of The Wizard of Oz and Danz Up.
Composer - Tic Ashfield
(Participants from Hong Kong)
YK, Wan Lai-yee, Kathy Ng, Sam Ng, Crystal Lee, Terry Chau, Philip Chow, Gethin Chow, Aranza Rus-sell Terre, Theresa Leung, Sally Leung, Cheung Ling-long Angel, Karen Chan, Lemon Tsang, Leung Ho-hei, Yeung Sze-lok Llyr, Lai Yuk-lam, Clayton Lo, Harmony Timbre, Ben Kwong, Hsu Sing-chin
Lindsay Foster, Michelle McTernan, Richard Newnham, Owen Pugh, Sian Walker, Faye Wiggan
Production Manager: Tom Ayres
Senior Producer: Ellis Wrightbrook
Assistant Producer: Carys Mol
Technical Assistant: Sam Jones
Artist Assistant: Karen Ka and Dominic Lee
Technical Assistants: Yu Pui-ho