This year marked the 10th anniversary of Swire Properties’ support to Shakespeare4All to bring the world of Shakespeare to local youth. Swire Properties Chief Executive Martin Cubbon joined Under Secretary for Home Affairs Ms Florence Hui Hiu-fai and Chairman of Shakespeare4All Professor Jane Lai to officiate at today’s kick-off ceremony of the “Pop Up! Shakespeare” at ArtisTree, TaiKoo Place.
The free-admission event held on 9th and 10th March comprises a series of workshops on different aspects of theatre such as creative writing, voice & acting, costume design and stage makeup. It aims to encourage the young generation to learn English through the appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays, and is expected to attract close to 1,000 students and over 200 volunteers. Twenty-five students and professional actors came together to stage a 30-minute modern classic comedy adapted from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The production is featured four times a day throughout the event.
Professor Jane Lai, Chairman of Shakespeare4All, thanked Swire Properties’ continuous support to the organisation. She said: “Shakespeare4All is a charity English-language learning and drama organisation. This year, 2013, we are celebrating our 10th anniversary. We will continue to inspire young people to aspire to excellence and I hope in some small way, Shakespeare4All has been able to contribute to Hong Kong.”
At the kick-off ceremony, Martin Cubbon, Chief Executive of Swire Properties, said: “The works of Shakespeare can be complex, provocative but always thoughtful and inspiring. I cannot think of a better way of perfecting the use of the English language than by acting at his plays,” he said. “The programme’s initiative aligns with our long-standing patronage of the arts and education. I’m also delighted that we can play host at ArtisTree, a cultural resource we bring to the community for the appreciation of arts and culture.”
Swire Properties is the founding patron of the hosting organization Shakespeare4All when it started in 2003. In addition to the fund and venue sponsorship to the event, the Company also recruited more than 80 enthusiastic Community Ambassadors to assist in the free-admission workshops.
Besides “Pop-Up! Shakespeare”, Shakespeare4All also runs drama classes throughout the academic year in schools across Hong Kong, as well as a student production “Shakespeare in Asia” in September 2013, features theatre performance by schools in Hong Kong, Seoul, Guangzhou, Kaosiung and Kolkata.
Swire Properties has the strong tradition of using its premises as platforms for innovative art events. The 20,000 sq ft multi-purpose venue ArtisTree at one of its developments Taikoo Place is the platform to help cultivate the growth of art in the wider Hong Kong community. Through the showcasing world art pieces for public display and enjoyment and sponsoring venues to performances by local artists with potential, Swire Properties adheres to its philosophy of incorporating art and culture in its developments.