February 11th, 2014 By Jack Morton
But when you go to a performance, don’t expect a full house. Most of the seats will be left empty… for the ancestral ghosts.
In the heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District , the theatre is part of a festival that celebrates the Cantonese tradition of theatre and arts and crafts, on the future site of a major centre for the performing arts and visual culture.
Bamboo theatres are typically built during the Chinese Ghost Festival/Yu Lan (盂蘭), usually in July. Traditional Cantonese Opera (戲曲) performances are performed, for the viewing pleasure of beloved ghosts of the region. In a typical nod to practicality, the structures are also built for seasonal community festivals or events. In a region where bamboo is not only plentiful, but reusable and renewable, and space is often limited, the building style is a unique solution to a significant community challenge. We’ve seen stage sets and smaller theatres constructed on soccer pitches and basketball courts- they go up in a few hours, and come down even faster.
Is this the solution for our next venue-challenged project?