It looks like summer in Hong Kong is well and truly here – but forget trying to dodge those sudden downpours and instead get working on your diary to make sure you don’t miss any of the fab events taking place this month! With the likes of Le French May, Art Basel and loads of chart-topping music stars in town, it’s an action-packed month – so take a peek at our May Cultural Round-Up for our top pick of all the shows, concerts, exhibitions and events going on around town…
It’s that time of year where we all start feeling that little bit more chic than usual… yes, Le French May is here! One of the largest French art festivals in Asia, they’ve put together an action-packed programme of live music, theatre, art, cinema, fashion, cabaret and more, all showcasing the je ne sais quoi of French and international culture – and this year, the theme is the 1920s (think The Artist!). As usual, we’re particularly looking forward to indulging in GourMay – where over 30 of our fave restos (including Chez Patrick, La Cabane, Les Fils A Maman and La Marmite) will be participating with promotions of delicious French wines, tastings, workshops and special menus. Vive la France!
Ever heard of the soprano who just couldn’t sing? It might sound like the punchline for a joke, but Peter Quilter’s hit comedy Glorious is actually based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, ‘the first lady of the sliding scale’ in 1940s New York who still managed to sell out her concerts despite not being able to hold a note! Forget lack of musical talent… it’s all about Florence’s infectious enthusiasm and love of music – so expect to be laughing all night as you watch the worst singer in the world follow her dreams, one awful note at a time!
When: 1 & 3-4 May, 8pm; 4-5 May, 3pm
Where: HKRep Black Box, 8/F, Sheung Wan Civic Centre, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
How much: $200-$225, available via www.urbtix.hk, 2111 5999
A night of Passione
For the more romantic music lovers among you, world famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli is here with his …With Passione tour for one night only. The singer will be accompanied by a full symphony orchestra and choir as well as guitar duo CARisMA, who have proved to be an audience favourite. Look forward to tracks from the singer’s own Passione album released earlier this year as well as moving and evocative classics from Verdi, Puccini and Charles Gounod, handpicked by the tenor himself! There won’t be a dry eye in the house…
When: 3 May, 8pm
Where: Hall 5BC, HKCEC, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How much: $780-$3980, available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288
For some Kraft-y music…
70s and 80s electronic icons Kraftwerk are bringing their synthy sound to Hong Kong for one night only! Described by those in the know as the pioneers of modern music, their rhythmic and minimal sound shaped a generation and influenced artists from the likes of David Bowie to Bjork. Music lovers and hipsters alike won’t want to miss experiencing the German fourpiece’s hits in a unique and spectacular 3D performance!
When: 4 May, 8pm
Where: Star Hall, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
How much: $580-780, available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288
It was all a Blur….
One of the UK’s most successful bands and darlings of the nineties Britpop movement, Blur arrive on Hong Kong shores next month for the very first time! Formed in London in the late 80s, bassist Alex James, guitarist Graham Coxon, drummer Dave Rowntree and guitarist/singer Damon Albarn, have become household favourites in the UK – and now they’ve back together for a show that will be a trip down memory lane for many of us Sassy girls! You’ll be pogo-ing along to Song 2 before you know it… wooooohoooo!
When: 6 May, 8pm
Where: AsiaWorld-Arena, AsiaWorld Expo, Lantau, Hong Kong
How much: $480 – $880, available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288
Turn me on
No one knows how to get a crowd jumping quite like Grammy award-winning DJ David Guetta! He’s worked with some of the best in the business and brought us floorfillers such as Titanium and Turn Me On (which can be heard pumping out of many a club in LKF on a Saturday night!) – and now you can catch him live in Hong Kong. Starting out as a nightclub DJ during the 80s and 90s, Guetta is now considered one of the biggest DJs in the world today. Ladies, it’s time to put those hands in the air!
When: 10 May, 8pm
Where: Hall 10, AsiaWorld Expo, Lantau, Hong Kong
How much: $580-880 (all free standing), available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288
Ideas worth spreading
To hear the best ideas and riveting talks by remarkable people, get your tix for TEDxVictoriaHarbour. May’s series is focused on travel and tourism (which we know you all love!) so come by and hear from some of the most trusted and valued voices around town – check out the list of diverse personalities taking part here! Ticket price also includes food and drinks served during the breaks, plus admission to the cool after-party at Kee Club… and it’s all held in North Point’s historic Sunbeam Theatre, which was saved from demolition last year.
When: 11 May, 12-6pm
Where: Sunbeam Theatre, 423 King’s Road, North Point, Hong Kong
How much: $450, available here
Ooh la la
One of the must-sees on the music bill for Le French May has to be sophisticated pop group Nouvelle Vague, who wowed the crowds with their previous show in the ‘Kong! Known for their soothing covers of 70s and 80s punk and new wave records, the band have delighted audiences over the years with their unique take on hits from artists including New Order, Blondie, XTC, Joy Division, The Smiths and Depeche Mode. The show will also feature infamous cabaret act Crazy Horse Paris and singer Zula in what is predicted to be one of the bands’ most interactive performances to date. Ooh la la indeed!
When: 11 May, 8.30pm
Where: Rotunda 3, 6/F, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
How much: $420-680 for tickets booked in advance, $470-730 on the night, available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288
For something really different, why not head to Cheung Chau for its annual Bun Scrambling competition? You can spend an entire day out there exploring with our trusty guides to the Bun Festival and Cheung Chau (the latest addition to the island is cool new art space Praya One)… but make sure you don’t miss out on the festival! One of Hong Kong’s most unique celebrations, the Piu Sik Parade features children balanced on poles and floating above the crowds in a carnival-like procession with music and lion dancers; then as night falls, watch as dozens of competitors climb up a mile-high pole covered in buns, trying to collect as many as they can in the fastest time possible. Sound crazy? Just wait ‘till you see the real thing!
When: 14-18 May
Where: Cheung Chau Island; ferries run every half hour from Central Pier No. 5 (see the ferry schedule here)
How much: Free!
Too hot to handle?
Come check out American filmmaker and photographer Larry Clark’s first show in Asia! Known for his raw and explicit photography as well as his controversial films dealing with teen sexuality and violence, this is a great chance to see first-hand how Clark manages to flirt with the boundaries of acceptability in his work.
When: Until 16 May; closed Mondays
Where: Simon Lee Gallery, 304, 3/F The Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: Free entry
Jou-sahn Hong Kong!
Big news! This is one you won’t want to miss – the world premiere of an international musical, Good Morning Hong Kong, which has all been designed, created and built right here in the 852! Step back in time to Hong Kong’s handover in 1997 and into the lives of a gweilo-Chinese couple whose marriage is falling apart. With over twenty original songs, fun choreography, a bit of Rugby Sevens action, tonnes of drama, a heavy dose of the feel good factor and even some trademark Hong Kong downpours (bring your brolly!), this is a must for any musical theatre lover and promises to be a unique HK night out.
When: 16-26 May, 7.30pm; weekend matinees 2.30pm
Where: Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How much: $320-690, available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288
If you are looking for a truly unique live music experience, Sigur Rós is it. This Scandinavian band has been tugging at heartstrings for over a decade, receiving critical acclaim and platinum selling albums along the way. Their one-off show in Hong Kong will be complete with an eleven-piece band, brand new material and 90 minutes of the group’s heart-stopping blend of ethereal and minimal melodies. We promise you – this show will be nothing short of beautiful.
When: 21 May, 8pm
Where: Hall 8, AsiaWorld Expo, Lantau, Hong Kong
How much: $750 for free standing tickets, available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288
State of the art
Art Basel has finally hit our city, and for those of you who can’t make it to Basel in Switzerland, this is the best opportunity to scope out the “Olympics of the Art World”. Expect amazing works from galleries all over the world, plus loads of expert talks, special presentations and panel discussions – so whether you’re an art collector, artist, critic or just want to see some beautiful pieces of work, this is one of the must-go events of the year… And don’t forget to enjoy some prime people-spotting opportunities at the swanky Le Vernissage opening night too!
When: Vernissage 22 May, 5-9pm; 23-25 May, 12-7pm; 26 May, 12-5pm
Where: Hall 1 & 3, HKCEC, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
How much: $250 (one day ticket), $250 (one day ticket for two people or two day ticket – currently on special offer until 10 May), $750 (four day ticket), Vernissage $750. Available via www.hkticketing.com, 3128 8288, or purchase at the door.
Works of art
If you’re on the lookout for some Asian contemporary art to hang on your walls, then there’s nowhere better to look than the Asian Contemporary Art Show! With over 2,000 works of art by emerging artists from 16 countries, you’re bound to find something you’ll fall in love with. With complimentary wine, beer and cocktails to accompany your art spotting, it sounds like the perfect way to spend the weekend to us!
When: VIP Preview 23 May, 5.30-8.30pm; 24-26 May, 12.30-8.30pm
Where: JW Marriot Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong
How much: VIP tickets for all four-days including complimentary drinks and show catalogue $240 or $120 for two people, buy online here; $120 per person at the door (cash only!)
Interested in art and antiques, but sick and tired of just browsing the same old spots on Hollywood Road? Then take a short trip away from the island and head to Kowloon Bay for the 8th Asia International Arts & Antiques Fair. Whether you’re on the lookout for ceramics, glassware, bronzes, carpets or watches – you name it, they’ve got it! You might just find that perfect piece to complete your apartment after all!
When: 24-25 May, 11am-7pm; 26 May, 11am-5pm
Where: Grand Rotunda 2, 3/F, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong
How much: $50, available at door
Fenella is a British expat from Hertfordshire (think Darcy and Lizzy!) eager to discover new sights and sounds in Hong Kong. Follow her musings on Twitter @fenelladale.