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Observation of Oneself and Others: the Aesthetics of Immersive Theatre

£¥€$ (LIES) challenges the omnipresent money and monetary system, a subject that Macao audience are very familiar with. What is unfamiliar could be the theatrical format of the work. “The definition of theatre is changing slowly, differentiating itself from film and television. Why do we need theatre if cinema alone could suffice? Theatre has the advantages of a three-dimensional environment, a sheer sense of physical presence and the co-existence of performers and audience.” Ontroerend Goed often begins creating with questioning the format, instead of proceeding to the traditional storyline. They usually design a scenario for audience to participate, a format that is very similar to game playing. Audience become the leads, and the performers are merely the game designers and operators managing the mood and ambiance. The audience’s reaction is unpredictable, and the aesthetics of the genre lie precisely in the imponderables. And it is the status of human existence that audience come across through all of the unforeseeable crises and accidents in the process. What interest the artists are probably the “human” nature, thoughts and behaviours. Indeed, in this type of immersive theatre, through participating and watching, audience are involved in a constant observation of oneself and others.

By Lai Sim Fong
Holder of a Master’s degree in Art from the University of Exeter in England and a freelance dramaturg, Lai had worked as dramaturg for the Hong Kong Documentary Theatre Festival and the Hong Kong International Black Box Festival.

This article is excerpted and translated from Chinese


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