English Department students present Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan


The Year 3 students of English Department had presented an outstanding drama performance on the Open Day, 1st November, of the University. The activity was held by two classes and was performed in two sections respectively. They were performing Oscar Wilde’s (1854-1900) famous drama Lady Windermere’s Fan.

Lady Windermere’s Fan is about a wife, who has discovered that her husband may have a mistress and a series of matters follows. The performance was based on the original script, but part of the script had been rewritten by students. Since the year 3 students were divided into two classes for the course, there were two groups of crew, while each included seven actors and actresses. For other students, they took parts in the backstage by joining the team of assistant directors, sounds and lights, promotion, and so on.

The main actress, Pionka Wong from Group A, believed that the most important message of the performance was that nothing is absolutely black or white. When all people believed that Mrs. Erlynne should be blamed for abandoning her child and behaving in an evil way, she became the savor of her daughter. “As a human being, we cannot judge a woman simply on the surface but have to evaluate more,” Pionka Wong said.

Though the two casts had a similar story line, Group B considered that their rewritten script a comedy, in which being fun was more important than being educational.

Both groups agreed that the climax happened when Mrs. Erlynne took off her evil mask. Rebecca Luk from Group B, who played the role of Mrs. Erlynne, commented that this act showed how a mother cared for her daughter and this would bring a surprise to the audience.

The actors and actresses agreed that the performance was a great chance for them to challenge themselves. The main actor, Ryan Hsieh from Group A, stated that he was always being confident in presentations and conversations, but he wanted to have a breakthrough of himself by being an actor on stage.

Another actor, Liam Cheung, from Group B, also considered his role as a challenge as the character was greatly different from himself. The role he played was a playboy who often flirted with women, including the married Lady Windermere. Indeed, for most of the actors and actresses, they only had limited acting experiences. This became the main difficulties for them to present the characters lively. Liam recalled that in his first practice, he spoke out every single word from the script emotionlessly, which was indeed embarrassing for him.

With the help of Dr. Michelle Chan, the supervisor of the drama and the lecturer of English Department, actors and actresses could soon catch up with the skills on acting their roles. Evangeline Leung from Group B, who acted as one of the friends of Lady Windermere, remarked that Dr. Chan would demonstrate how to act the role in a better way for them. This helped them a lot in terms of relaxing themselves on stage finding senses of fulfillment in acting.

Noticeably, all the actors agreed that they were actually leaving their original images in front of their classmates. Though they have been studied together for three years, they have hardly shown others their different sides. It was interesting to interact with classmates in this way, like they were getting to know each other more. This can explain why throughout the whole activity, they seldom had any arguments but only delightful memories.

Undeniably, the students presented a prominent performance. Being on the stage was different from any rehearsal they had before. Rebecca recalled that the nervousness was heavier than ever before. She tried not to look at any audience directly but to focus on acting. For Evangeline, she thought that audience had great interactions with her. After all, they all miss the days they had together. Since the beginning of October, they were preparing every bit of the drama. For now, the show is over but their friendship seems to step further and becomes stronger. Congratulations to all of the participants who completed an excellent performance.


Source: November Issue 2014

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