Freespace to raise the curtain

Local | Charlotte Luo 30 May 2019

The second major performing arts venue of the West Kowloon Cultural District - Freespace - will open its doors in the middle of next month.

Freespace houses The Box, one of the largest black box theaters in Hong Kong, a bar and cafe named Livehouse for live music, and a room and studio for small-scale performances.

Louis Yu Kwok-lit, the executive director for Performing Arts of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, said Freespace is built for people, especially the younger generation, to explore contemporary performing arts. It offered flexible space for art and cultural events.

The rent for The Box is HK$6,000 for nine hours or HK$9,000 for 14 hours. It has enough space for 450 seats or can hold 900 people if they are standing.

Duncan Pescod, chief executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, yesterday said the rent is reasonable and affordable, but the authority might consider offering rent discounts later.

The West Kowloon Cultural District's first major performing arts venue - the Xiqu Centre - opened on January 20.

The rent for the Grand Theatre is between HK$22,000 and HK$99,000 per day, plus other costs for setting up the stage overnight or using VIP rooms.

The first show at The Box will be From a True Story, or D'apres une Histoire Vraie, which is French choreographer Christian Rizzo's most renowned dance work.

The shows will be held at 8pm on June 14 and 15, and tickets are now available for HK$380 and HK$300.

From July 28 to September 8, the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre will present A Dream Like A Dream, a famous contemporary Chinese language theatrical innovation.

It was first performed by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre in 2002 and was a sell-out.

The upcoming show will feature Louisa So and Cecilia Choi, as well as three-time Hong Kong Drama Awards Best Actor Poon Chan-leung.

Tickets are HK$680, HK$950 and HK$1,280 for shows on Tuesday to Friday, and HK$750, HK$1,050, and HK$1,450 for performances on Saturday and Sunday.

The Box will also host seminars, screenings and discussions, and artist workshops.

The first free public seminar will feature director Edward Lam as the speaker, and will be held on July 1 at 3.30pm.

Livehouse is around 213 square meters and can accommodate 100 seated members of audience or 150 people standing.

Henry Tang Ying-yen, chairman of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Board, is confident that Freespace will become "one of the most vital and instrumental creative spaces in the city."

Freespace is next to the Art Park's great lawn, where an outdoor stage can be set up for big events that draw crowds of up to 10,000.

The final phase of the Art Park and waterfront promenade will be completed by the end of this year.

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