Students from the Department of English staged a live public drama performance, The George Wong Case, on the CityU campus on 14 November 2018.
Scripted and directed by Dr Peter JORDAN, Assistant Professor of the Department of English, The George Wong Case was an original drama based on the last treason trial that took place in Hong Kong in 1946. The performance was about the trial of a garage mechanic George Wong, who was accused of collaborating with the Japanese during their wartime occupation of Hong Kong. The case raised many issues concerning the nature of loyalty, allegiance, truth, justice and identity. The play offered two possible interpretations - that George Wong was an innocent victim; or that he was a manipulative opportunist. The audience were left to decide for themselves. “History should always be open to interpretation and re-interpretation,” said Dr Jordan.
Taking a semester of preparation time, the CityU student actors who enrolled in Dr Jordan’s Drama Workshop course, committed to extra rehearsals outside regular class time. While some students worked on two video collages that provided the historical context of the case, others helped create and perform live music. One group took charge of the lighting and sound. A support team of students also worked on the show as their Final Year Project, and were responsible for an array of tasks including scheduling, liaison, finding costumes, props and make-up, and organising publicity and promotion.
Not only did the efforts of the students gave a suitable atmosphere of tension and concentration that enabled the young actors to focus and give their best, it also attracted a near full house. “After reading the students’ reflective journals, it seems they realise that the skills they picked up in the production are ones that can be applied in many aspects of their future careers,” said Dr Jordan. Riding on the success of the play, Dr Jordan aims to further create more dramatic scripts and productions based on historic events in Hong Kong’s past.