LUK Yuntong Thomas 陸潤棠

Research Projects


  • Adaptations and Translation of Western Drama: A Social-Cultural Study of Hong Kong Repertory Company’s Twenty Five Years Practice
  • LUK Yuntong Thomas
    1 June 2002
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    Adaptations of western drama has been a long standing theatrical practice on the Hong Kong stage by leading theatre companies, such as Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Chung Ying Theatre and others. The number of translated plays, mostly from English and European languages, put on the stage each year compares favorably and at one time overwhelmingly with that of local original plays. The first and foremost professional theatre company in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, best demonstrates this theatrical phenomenon. In the past twenty four years, it has produced 91 plays in translation, as compared with 56 in original plays, from Thornton Wilder.s Skin of Our Teech in its inception year, 1977 to the coming Uncle Vanya in 2001.
    This project is a joint venture with the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre to mark its coming 25th anniversary in the year 2002 to look at productions of its translated plays over the past twenty five years with a view to the following objectives:
    (1) To make an inventory of all these productions as cultural products and provide them with a historical account of the background, the development and the outcome.
    (2) To interpret and study the selection and the audience reception of these productions.
    (3) To investigate their relevance to Hong Kong with reference to social, political, and aesthetic implications.
    (4) To study the Impact of translated plays on the construction, invigoration and self-reflection of local cultural identity, through the forging of contemporary Hong Kong theatre.
    (5) To study the artistic and technical values of the introduction of western plays by the Hong Kong Repertory Company and its example-setting impact on the local theatre in the past twenty five years.
    (6) To argue for these productions or adaptations as intercultural theatre, with great potential for open dialogue between cultures- Hong Kong and Western- in the context of globalism and localism, reflecting the aim by the government of making Hong Kong .Asia.s world city..
    (7) To compile a DVD format databank of the research results, which includes DVD collection of 91 productions for future research and theatre education.
    (8) To anthologize theatre history and criticism of translated plays in Hong Kong for future research and theatre studies. (AL01359)


  • Adaptations and Translations of Western Drama: A Social-cultural Study of Hong Kong Repertory Theatre's Productions from 1977 to the Present
  • LUK Yuntong Thomas, FONG Chee Fun Gilbert (Dept of Translation)
    1 September 2003
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    Adaptation and translation of western drama has been a long standing theatrical practice on the Hong Kong stage by leading theatre companies, such as Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Chung Ying Theatre and others. The number of translated plays, mostly from English and European languages, put on the stage each year compares favorably and at one time overwhelmingly with that of local original plays. The first and foremost professional theatre company in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, best demonstrates this theatrical phenomenon. In the past twenty-five years, it has produced 91 plays in translation, as compared with 56 in original plays, from Thornton Wilder’s Skin of Our Teeth in its inception year, 1977 to Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in 2001. This project is a joint venture with the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre to mark its coming 25th anniversary in the year 2002 to look at the productions of its translated plays over the past twenty-five years with a view to the following objectives:
    1. To make an inventory of all these productions, from both video and printed forms, as cultural products and provide them with a historical account of the background, the development and the direction.
    2. To interpret and study the selection of translated dramatic texts and the audience reception of these productions in the context of influence and reception.
    3. To investigate their relevance to Hong Kong with reference to social, political, and aesthetic implications.
    4. To study the Impact of translated plays on the construction, invigoration and self-reflection of local cultural identity, through the forging of contemporary Hong Kong theatre.
    5. To study the artistic and technical values of the introduction of western plays by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and its example-setting impact on the local theatre in the past twenty five years.
    6. To argue for these productions or adaptations as intercultural theatre, with great potential for open dialogue between cultures- Hong Kong and Western- in the context of globalism and localism, reflecting how they coincide with the aim by the government of making Hong Kong “Asia’s world city”.
    7. To compile a DVD format databank of the research results, which includes a collection of 91 productions for future research and theatre education.
    8. To anthologize a theatre history and criticism of translated plays in Hong Kong for future research and theatre studies. (CU03121)


  • Possibilities and Politics of Intercultural Theatre on Contemporary Hong Kong Stage
  • LUK Yuntong Thomas, FONG Chee Fun Gilbert (Translation)
    1 December 2004
    CUHK Research Committee Funding (Direct Grants)

    The present project will be a branch off from my existing project: Translations and Adaptations of Western Drama: A Social and Cultural Investigation of Hong Kong Repertory Company's Past Practices Since 1977 (RGC-granted 2003-05) with a view to investigating a new genre of theatre. Since 1977, when the Hong Kong Repertory Company experimented with a Cantonese production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet set in ancient Chinese historical background, there has been a growing number of productions adapting, appropriating or transforming western classics, mostly Shakespeare and Greek tragedy, on the local theatre scene, characterized by a conscious and voluntary mixing of more than one performance conventions and theatre matters. These productions, having all appeared on the Hong Kong stage, range from entirely of local origin to those transplanted from China, Taiwan and inter-Asian cooperation. To name but a few, the more recent examples of this theatre Con-fusion (Peter Eckersall, et al, 11) are Chen Shi-zheng’s 1997-98 Bacchae (巴凱) , the inter-Asian production of Lear, based loosely on Shakespeare’s King Lear in 1999 by the Singaporean director, Ong Keng-Sen, Law Kar-Ying’s Cantonese operatization of Macbeth (英雄叛國) and King Lear (李廣王) in 2000 and 2002 respectively, Wu Hsing-Kuo’s Contemporary Legend Theatre’s Lear (李爾在此) in 2003 and two local productions of Medea (美狄亞, 2003)and Antigone (禁葬令, 2004). This kind of theatre involving more than one performing convention has established a new theatrical paradigm, that of intercultural theatre, for the purpose of reinvigoration and reinvention of theatrical tradition as well as cultural exchange. (AL04840)


  • Possibilities and Politics of Intercultural Theatre on the Contemporary Hong Kong Stage
  • LUK Yuntong Thomas, FONG Chee Fun Gilbert (Translation)
    1 September 2005
    Research Grants Council (Earmarked Grants)

    What I am interested in doing is first to define what is meant by intercultural theatre, and second to map out this genre on the basis of a growing number of dramatic productions in Hong Kong involving more than one dramatic convention in its mode of performance. In this case, the intercultural theatre I am talking about is usually a fusion of traditional and modern Chinese theatrical conventions and western theatrical conventions, mostly Greek and Shakespearean. However, I am not really working on Shakespearean or Greek Tragedy study in the normal sense. This new hybrid or con-fusion of theatre conventions is an intercultural theatre, that .encompasses public performances at the level of narrative content, performance aesthetics, production processes, and/or reception by an interpretive community.. (Jacqueline Lo and Helen Gilbert, p.31). It is akin but not necessarily similar to translations and adaptations of western drama already very popular on the Hong Kong stage, if we accede to the fact that drama and theatre is already in itself construed as .a constant process of translation. (Reba Gostand, 1) and intercultural theatre but varieties of theatre translations and adaptations. I believe the growing frequency of this mode of intercultural theatre in Hong Kong and elsewhere in China, Taiwan or Japan warrants a systematic, critical and theoretical investigation as a new form of theatre. (CU05684)



Research Publications


  • Adaptations and translations of western drama : a socio-cultural study of Hong Kong Repertory Company's past practices . Hong Kong : David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2006.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL HK Studies PN2876.H62 X515 2006)



  • Before and after Suzie: Hong Kong in Western film and literature. Hong Kong : New Asia College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2002.
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Reserve 1 day AS457.C524 A3 v.18 c.5; UL HK Studies AS457.C524 A3 v.18; ARL AS457.C524 A3 v.18 c.4; CC Reserve 1 day AS457.C524 A3 v.18 c.2; NA AS457.C524 A3 v.18 c.5; NA Closed Stack AS457.C524 A3 v.18 c.3)



  • "Hong Kong as City/Imaginary in The World of Suzie Wong, Love is a Many Splendored Thing and Chinese Box". Before and After Suzie: Hong Kong in Western Film and Literature ed. by Thomas Y. T. Luk and James P Rice. no.18, Hong Kong SAR: New Asia Academic Bulletin, 2002.05.01. pp.73-85.



  • "Hong Kong as Imaginary in Western Film and Literature". Before and After Suzie: Hong Kong in Western Film and Literature ed.by Thomas Y. T. Luk & James P Rice no.18. Hong Kong SAR: New Asia Academic Bulletin, 2002.05.01.



  • "Post-Colonialism and Contemporary Hong Kong Theatre: Two Case-Studies". Colonizer and Colonized ed. by Theo D'haen and Patricia Krs. Amsterdam: Rodopi b.v., 2000. pp.57-64.



  • "Technology and Theatre in Post-1997 Hong Kong: Current Trends in the Portrayal of Science in Art". Journal of Urban Technology vol.12 no.2, London, U.K.: Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2005.08.01. pp.87-99.



  • 《西方翻譯劇的香港演繹》,Chineseuniversitypress@cuhk.edu.hk,The Chinese Univ. PressHong Kong: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2006.12.29.



  • 《西方戲劇的香港演繹 : 從文字到舞台》,香港:中文大學出版社,2007。
    (CUHK Library Call No: UL Good Reads PN1633.T75 L83 2007 c.3; UL HK Studies PN1633.T75 L83 2007; NA General Education PN1633.T75 L83 2007 c.2)



  • <當代香港戲劇揉合中西表演技巧的典範>,《中央戲劇學院學報》,第107期,2003,頁114-120。



  • <粵劇戲曲電影媒介和題材的香港意義>,《中華戲曲》,第二十七卷,中國北京:山西大學戲曲文物研究所/中國戲劇出版社,2002.09.01,頁289-296。


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