Myth of Fox

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The Venetian Macao, Venetian Theatre Sat Feb 2 & Sun Feb 3

If Myth of Fox were to be staged anywhere other than the Venetian – where the world’s largest casino is located – it wouldn’t have appeared to be as much of an ironic remark on urbanisation as audiences may see it. Rather than pointing squarely to Macau, however, Joe Lei – Macanese pop songwriter and Myth of Fox’s playwright and composer – stresses that his debut musical, set in a fictional, fantastical city, underlines the unforgiving urbanisation among Chinese cities in general.

Myth of Fox is a contemporary take on classical Chinese folk tales, in which the mortals and the fox spirits reverse their conventional roles of good and evil. When relentless urban development encroaches a village inhabited by several-hundred-year-old fox spirits, they have to choose between integrating into the human world and defending their own soil. A bet on whether a fox spirit can find true love in the human world will decide their destiny.

Led by pop singers Shino Lin (Taiwan), Vincy Chan (Hong Kong) and emerging stage actor Michael Vong Tin-ian (Macau), the musical is Macau’s effort to promote cross-border performing arts collaborations. Lei believes Macau should see more original works, even if, for him, writing a musical ‘is much harder than writing 30 pop songs’.

What Lei wouldn’t do in pop songs is write lyrics from the point of view of the foxes. With the dramatic conflicts between humans and animals, and nature and development, environmental awareness becomes another underlying theme in the musical. “Rapid developments have
turned us into something that we don’t quite realise,” remarks Lei. “Cities change. So do people.”

Winnie Chau

Performed in Cantonese. Tickets: 6333 6660; cotaiticketing.com.

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