Ivor Gurney: a Voice Apart

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May 21-May 23
 

Ivor Gurney’s talents went relatively unrecognised throughout his life, but the creative works of this prolific poet and composer are hailed today as some of the most hauntingly beautiful of his generation.  

This production pays homage to the life and times of the late, great, artist and the final years of his life. By the time of his death in 1937, aged just 47, he had written more than 300 poems and over 200 songs and instrumental works.

Gurney spent his formative years as a private in the trenches of the First World War, an experience that left him crippled both emotionally and physically. He lived out his days in the mental asylum to which his brother had him committed, and this provides the staging for the play. The audience is affronted by with the horrific scenes Gurney recalls from the war, which are contrasted with melancholic moments he shared with Marion Scott, the pinnacle female figure in his life.

Written by Piers Gray, the late Hong Kong-based playwright, the role of Ivor Gurney is played by Jonathan Douglas, who moved audiences in the play’s original Hong Kong debut almost a decade ago.  

The play ties in with on-going centenary commemorations of the First World War. In celebration of Gurney’s life, photographs of the composer are displayed in an exhibition prior to the performance, accompanied by film footage from producer Karini Zabihi. Audience members are also given the chance to take part in postproduction discussions. Hannah Hodson

Ivor Gurney – A Voice Apart Fringe Club, Underground at the Fringe, May 21-23. Tickets: $220; hkticketing.com.

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