Brave new venture for Underbelly in Hong Kong

The iconic purple cow makes its first trip overseas and has taken up residency at the harbour front in Hong Kong. As one of the most recognisable features of the Edinburgh Fringe, the purple cow has promised to bring the best of the Edinburgh to Hong Kong.

This brave new venture for Underbelly is packed as full of goodies as your Christmas stocking.

For two months, Udderbelly plays host to several of the biggest names from the Fringe. The Boy With Tape On His Face, Michael Winslow, Gobsmacked, Rory Bremner, Cirque Le Roux are all amongst the inaugural line-up which also includes several local acts.

Has the purple cow found green pastures in Hong Kong? Shows receiving multiple awards and international acclaim have found audiences in Hong Kong harder to come by than the UK. Delivered with the same impeccably high standards that have brought international acclaim to these acts, Udderbelly’s audience have witnessed some exceptional performances. It’s a shame that these audiences have contained a mere smattering of Hong Kong citizens, with the majority being ex-pats.

With ticket prices in excess of £35 for an hour long show, and with the majority of tourists coming from mainland China, where evening activities revolve around shopping as opposed to theatre, Underbelly has faced a similar issue to many Hong Kong performing arts companies in attracting an audience. Compounded with the language barrier, this has meant that despite Hong Kong being a major tourist destination, performing arts still struggle to be a major fixture.

This brave new venture for Underbelly is packed as full of goodies as your Christmas stocking and, supported by local acts, has the potential to grow further. However, with Hong Kong Arts Festival every February as the primary focus of Hong Kong cultural life, there are challenges ahead if Udderbelly is to become a yearly resident in this beautiful and vibrant city.

Udderbelly Hong Kong is appearing until 14th February, 2016.

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