The Banality of Evil (Taipei Performance)


A philosopher – Hannah Arendt
An institution
A dictator
A bunch of executioners
A nation’s genocide plan
A controversial trial
A woman condemning a monster in disguise of an ordinary man
A rite unveiling human nature

A trip abroad
A personal confession
A language lecture touching faith and betrayal


26-27/4/2019 (Fri-Sat) 7:30pm
27-28/4/2019 (Sat-Sun) 2:30pm

Experimental Theater, National Theater & Concert Hall

In Cantonese and Putonghua with Chinese and English surtitles


Playwright Bertolt Brecht
Director CHAN Hang-fai Andrew
Translator WONG Wing-man
Co-Producers TSE Man-chun, WONG Wing-man
Deputy Producer CHEUNG Hing-fong*
Set & Costume Designer MO Ka-man^
Lighting Designer Micro CHENG
Composer & Sound Designer PANG Chun-kit
Video Designer TANG Chun-au
Graphic Designer Alfie Leung
Hairstyling Director Charlie Luciano@Salon Go Ahead
Stage Manager CHONG Hiu-ting
Deputy Stage Manager LAI Kam-Shan
Assistant Stage Manager LEUNG Nga-Chi
Stage Crew WONG Sai-tsun Christopher, LI Kwan-ho Henry
Performance Coach CHAN Shui-yu
Performers CHAN Shui-yu, CHAU Ka-fai, Kan Lap-keung, CHENG Ka-chun, LAI Ho-yin Desmond, WONG Yee-mun, YUEN Wai-ying, Louie Lai, CHEUNG Hok-leung

*The Arts Administration Internship Scheme supported by Hong Kong Arts Development Council
^With the kind permission of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Message from Director

Letter to my father

My Dearest Father,

In dreams, I haven’t seen you recently, but I always think of you. In the rehearsal of my new play, scenes of World War II were mentioned. This reminded me of my childhood – every moments when we watched war-fare movies in your room. Every time when Patton the movie was broadcast on TV, you asked me to record it and I had watched it for countless times. Be honest, my dearest father, I did not enjoy it indeed. I even hated watching them as I knew wars brought about disasters and casualties. I just wondered why you liked watching them. Didn’t you experience those painful moments in person? You were a soldier too, like the protagonists in the movie, who survived the showers of bullets in the battlefield. You witnessed your fellow men killed and you had taken people’s lives. How could you still enjoy war-fare movies?

Anyway, this bizarre “interest” was subconsciously planted in my brain. In secondary school, I selected history to study and scored high in it probably because of its dramatic nature. However, I know myself inside out. Scores proved my senses not my heart. My dearest father, I had a “cold war” with history after the public exam because I devoted myself to the world of drama. 20 years later, my “love” for history was rekindled unexpectedly. It even came with a little bit “occult” style.

Father! I don’t know if you agree with my choice of approaching history from the occult perspective. I had never heard about your opinion on occultism. Certainly, I had no knowledge about it too when I was young. Perhaps, you might think it ridiculous but the fact is that reports of mysterious legends and stories have aroused my interest in exploring the boundless history realm again… Not just history, Father, but everything about the universe!

I imagine – if I discussed occultism with you, I believe, you would just laugh it off and go on with your studies on the history of the Qing Dynasty. Your smile and the first half of your life are equally mysterious. You are part of the “occultism” I would like to study.

Thank you for bringing me to this filthy world in the colourful 70s.|I was brought up without worries and at the same time immersed in a kaleidoscopic cultural environment where I could absorb cultural nutrients. Today, this cultural diversity has faded out and “monotone” has become the basic survival status in the current era. People are satisfied with a single united set of values. Everything looks the same, such as shops, pop music, living space, TV programmes, schools, appearances, the new generation, pace of living and so on. This is our life today. Nobody thinks this is wrong. What is wrong is thinking widely and wildly. Maintaining minimal use of the brain is the goal of life (people are even proud of it). Thinking has been regarded as a sin.

Socrates says injustice can be tolerated when compared to performing evil. Father, the world today has gone “beyond virtue and evil”. Nobody mentions Socrates anymore. People care about their personal interest only instead of what virtue or evil is. We have entered an era that doesn’t bother to differentiate virtue from evil. People do not need to make any judgements as they have given up their right of make their own judgement, leaving behind a soulless body that works like a gear in a system. Every day, they repeat the same tasks again and again.

“Never fight our fellow men!” Just one grandma’s statement, you retired from the army. Owing to this statement, I came to this world. I regret talking too little to you about your early life, be it the terrible war-fare. It did not matter if you refuse to recall the old times. I understand that you prefer bury them deep in your heart, at the bottom of that well.

My dearest father, I am rehearsing a play called The Banality of Evil, which was inspired by a book by Hannah Arendt about Nazi, World War II and the massacre of Jews… Orignially, I wanted to tell a story about you, but I gave the idea up finally.

I wish
rest in peace!

Hang Fai

2 Jan 2019