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UM faculty member, students adapt classic British play at Macao Literary Festival
Text: UM Reporter Gonzales Wu
Church hymns, familiar old melodies, peddling sounds, the strange yet unique accent of Patuá speakers - things unique to Macao in the 1960s - were brought back to life at the Black Box Theatre in a play titled The Three Ladies of Macao, as part of the programme of the Script Road - Macau Literary Festival 2016.
The Three Ladies of Macao is an original allegorical play co-written by Prof Katrine Wong and five students from the Department of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Drawing inspiration from Robert Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London, the writers kept the main characters from the British play, namely Lady Love, Lady Lucre, and Lady Conscience, but rewrote the play into a story that sets in a different universe than the Shakespearean London in the original one. In the play, 12 UM students, staff, and alumni of different nationalities gave a powerful performance to tell a story of love and lust, lies and hope, as well as hurt and healing. Their performance has attracted full-house audiences for three consecutive times.
Alexa Martinez, a second-year student from the Department of Communication, who plays Lady Lucre in the play, used to act in plays in high school every year. She says that the role Lady Lucre – who aspired to make a fortune by fair means or foul and attempted to take control of all the pawn shops in Macao – is very different than her roles in the past. Therefore, getting into this character was a challenge for her at the beginning. ‘I was told many times that I was not mean enough in the play, but everything fell into place eventually,’ she says. ‘It was during one of the evening practice sessions that I finally got into the character. My change was not only a surprise to my fellow cast members but also to me.’ She adds that performing The Three Ladies of Macao helps her learn more about Macao, particularly the gaming industry at that time.
The Three Ladies of Macao is not only a story about Macao, but also a story written in this city by UM members. The play uses visual clues, conversations, and music to recreate Macao in the 60s. Members of the production express hope that the play will exhibit multiculturalism of the city and will help to push forward the development of Macao’s unique cultural heritage.
Source: Communications Office
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