Two Birds (or Possibly More)

By: Peter E. R. Jordan  

This paper discusses how the performance of drama can provide a forum for the examination of a wide range of subjects and disciplines, for actors and audience alike. In particular, I shall focus on the recent publicly presented production of The George Wong Case, performed by students of City University of Hong Kong. The play sought to recreate the proceedings against a garage mechanic named George Wong, in 1946. It is known as Hong Kong’s first treason trial, which took place barely six months after the British retook possession of Hong Kong from the Japanese. Wong was accused of collaborating with the Japanese and being party to illegal imprisonment, torture and murder. Most contentiously, he was tried for treason against the United Kingdom. Wong’s counsel argued that Wong was a Chinese national and therefore could not be tried for treason. The argument was rejected and Wong was hanged. In this production, the students not only explored rhetorical and subtextual nuances of speech, but in the process also examined Hong Kong’s colonial past, the nature of justice and authority, legal and moral issues, and perhaps most importantly, the layered and competing claims on an individual’s identity.

Drama History Colonialism
Critical Cultural Studies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Peter E. R. Jordan

-, -, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Hong Kong