To dream 發夢 : a 2019 Hong Kong euphemism for attending a protest. Don’t say you protested, say ‘I dreamed I was out on the street last night’ and by keeping it at that remove, in the real unreal, maybe you can talk about what happened without paying a price for it.
The price was paid: the introduction of the National Security Law by the Beijing government in 2020 saw the destruction of the free press, mass arrests of the democratic opposition and the seeming end to a 30 year tradition of holding a public vigil for Tiananmen.
What of the dreamers, and their dreams, now?
This is a difficult show to make. As individuals, we are unsure about how much we want to risk. We imagine paying a price for making this show. Fear is contagious. So is courage.
Our audience has changed too. There’s you, who hasn’t thought much about Hong Kong during the succession of upheavals the world has faced. And then there’s you, who tore up bricks from the streets to make roadblocks in Central and now you are here, trying to make a home of the UK. And there’s you…whoever you are…reading this right now…
‘How can these artists respond to a situation that is still ongoing, a situation that is causing them so much pain, fear, anger, and even danger? It’s nigh on impossible – that’s the point.’
Ava Wong Davies, The Stage
Dreamers starts with messages that come to your phone via a Telegram group in the days leading up to the show. On booking a ticket, please head over to www.papergang.co.uk for more information on how to engage with this part of the performance.