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The Lieutenant of Inishmore

by Martin McDonagh

Where and When

McAulay Studio, Hong Kong Arts
25 – 28 February 2009 (8pm)


A potent mix of horror and hilarity inhabited by louts and lunatics

The Lieutenant of Inishmore is a blood-splattered and highly entertaining farce by Martin McDonagh, the playwright behind The Pillowman and The Beauty Queen of Lenane, who recently won the Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for his screenplay of In Bruges.

The show revolves around Padraic, a man’s who’s fighting for a free Ireland all on his own, and his beloved cat, Wee Thomas. When Padraic receives word that his Wee Thomas is “doing poorly”, he rushes home to his native island of Inishmore, setting off a chain reaction that will have heads rolling . . . literally.

Greg SamuelBolton Jim Oxley

The Lieutenant of Inishmore was first produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London in 2001, where it won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy. It then transferred to Broadway in 2006, where it was nominated for multiple Tony awards, including Best Play, Best Actor, and Best Director. The New York Times said that The Lieutenant of Inishmore was “appallingly entertaining” and “enlightening”. CurtainUp said: “No one with a taste for the purely electrifying should miss this audaciously ironic political play”.

Here’s what Time Out magazine has to say about the Players production: click>>>

Cast (in order of appearance)

Davey Hamish Campbell
Donny Greg Hunt
Padraic Paul Sheehan
James Samuel J. Craig
Mairead Molly Campbell
Christy Stephen Bolton
Joey Jim Lewis
Brendan David Oxley

Production Team

Director Eric Ng
Assistant Director Damien Barnes
Producer Teri Fitsell
Set/Lighting/Sound/Special Effects Designer Ian Pratley
Special Props Designer Katy Scott
Props Cindy Bayne
Make-up/Costumes Leena Lempinen
Publicity Photos Albert Cheung


by Peter Shaffer

The year is 1823 and Vienna is reeling with gossip. And so is the Hong Kong media world and people who came to see the show (scroll down to see more).

Mozart (Samuel J. Craig) conducts
as Salieri (Stephen Bolton) looks on.
Photo: Teri Fitsell

Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus (1979) won the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics Award with its original London production. It tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Vienna’s court composer, Antonio Salieri, who, overcome with jealousy at hearing the “voice of God” coming from an “obscene child”, sets out to destroy his nemesis.

When the play moved to Broadway it won the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play and ran for over 1,000 performances. The 1984 motion picture, adapted from his own script by Shaffer, won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

In this compelling portrait of two lives devastated by jealousy, Shaffer has crafted a kaleidoscope of human passions and intrigues that haunt the elderly Salieri’s memories of
18th-Century Vienna – a great centre of art, music and culture under the benevolent rule of Emperor Joseph II.

Salieri (Stephen Bolton) stands alone as
Constanze (Stephanie Fodor) and Wolfgang (Samuel J. Craig) revel in their love.
Photo: Ian Pratley

The theatrical experience is complemented by some of the most beautiful music ever composed as Mozart’s genius shines through all of Salieri’s attempts to smother it.

Sumptuous costumes and a rich vein of comedy will further heighten the audience’s enjoyment of this enthralling and moving night of theatre.

The production is running 15-19 September 2009 at the Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre.


Stephen Bolton
Samuel J. Craig
Stephanie Fodor
Emperor Joseph II
Adam Harris
Venticello I
Liv Kennard
Venticello 2
Jane Archibald
Count von Strack
Jeremy Payne
Count Orsini-Rosenberg
Brian Sealy
Baron van Swieten
Neil Runcieman
Damien Barnes
Farha Hafsaoui
Kappellmeister Bonno
Ted Thomas
Teresa Salieri
Cindy Bayne
Katherina Cavalieri
Djaka Souari
Servant 1
Karly Cox
Servant 2
Michael Bradley
Major Domo
Damien Barnes

Production Team


Director Ian Pratley
Assistant TO the Director Katy Forse
Producer Guy Russell
Assistant Producer Vanessa Lee
Set Designer Ian Pratley
Costume Designer Claire Saeki
Lighting Designer Andy Burt
Sound Designer Ian Pratley
Projection Designer Paul Sheehan
Wigs and Makeup Leena Lempinen
Props Manager Cindy Bayne
Stage Manager Michael Bradley
Deputy Stage Manager Katy Forse
Assistant Stage Manager Karly Cox
Programme Design Adam Harris
Publicity Teri Fitsell


South China Morning Post

Tuesday, 22 September 2009 (show reviewed 16 Sept)

Inspired by Pushkin’s Mozart and Salieri (1831), Peter Shaffer’s 1979 play explores a historical mystery: did Antonio Salieri, court composer of Austrian emperor Joseph II, murder Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart? And if so, what was his motive, given that at the time he was far more successful than Mozart?

Shaffer offers fascinating answers to these questions. He draws the audience into the mind of Salieri who alone is capable of appreciating the true worth of Mozart’s music, vows vengeance on God for giving this gift to Mozart – portrayed as a buffoonish, immature brat. Ian Pratley’s straightforward, well-paced production for the Hong Kong Players allows Shaffer’s writing to speak for itself… [T]he quality and professionalism of the show belies the company’s “amateur” label.

Amadeus is an actor’s play and the two demanding central roles were well served. Samuel Craig was appropriately infuriating as the bumptious, giggling Mozart at the beginning and touching in his pitiful, bemused decline at the end.

Stephen Bolton delivered Salieri’s monologues superbly. He brought out the character’s sly humour and was moving faced with the terrible realisation of Mozart’s genius and his own mediocrity. But he remained too sympathetic to convey Salieri’s descent into evil as envy corrodes his soul…

[T]he supporting cast is excellent, notably Adam Harris, extremely funny as Joseph II, and the neatly synchronised duo of Jane Archibald and Olivia Kennard as the Venticelli.

Natasha Rogai

Audience feedback

“If you hadn’t already got your tickets, go get ’em NOW!! Was privileged to see the opening night performance last night and Big Respect to cast & crew; … it wasn’t just amazing, it was inspiring.”

“[P]lease please pass on my congratulations to the entire cast, I was completely mesmerised for the entire performance, you were utterly brilliant… Thank you!!”

“Wow. Wow. Wow. You were spectacular. Thank you for a fabulous evening of theatre.”

“Great job. Really enjoyed it.”

“I came, I saw, and I liked it very much.”


“I don’t believe it!!! 🙂 how good that was!”

“Excellent show, loved every minute of it! Congratulations to everyone!”

“Bolton… came across as a very human Salieri, the sort of character all of us have had the misfortune to encounter at one time or another in the course of our daily lives… [Craig] carried the role well, with the genius, the light-heartedness and ultimately the morose madness of Mozart coming through resplendently.”

“The Venticelli were utterly fabulous… Constanze was spot on, as was Adam West’s Emperor Joseph… costumes and sets superb.”

“[W]e, (my mum, wife and friends) went to see Amadeus yesterday and were absolutely blown away! I thought it was fantastic, very moving and I’m really glad I got to see it.”

South China Morning Post

Aug 25, 2009

Duly noted: director always had designs on Amadeus

The film Amadeus might have been a huge success but the play is even
better, says the man who will direct it next month

The 1984 screen version of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus won eight Oscars and several other awards, but for community theatre veteran Ian Pratley it doesn’t compare with the original play.
The 45-year-old – who has designed sets for many productions including Big Box Theatre Productions’ A Streetcar Named Desire (2008) and the more recent Misery by Wordybird Theatre Company – says he was “blown away” when he first saw the 1979 play featuring British actors Tim Pigott-Smith and Toyah Wilcox in the early 1990s.

“It’s beautifully written and there is not a single word that is not required. It certainly doesn’t suffer from ‘too many notes’,” says Pratley, in reference to the famous complaint Austrian Emperor Joseph II is alleged to have made about Mozart’s opera The Abduction from the Seraglio.

“In fact, I loved it so much that I went back the following night and watched it again.
“I thought, one day if I am lucky enough, I will stage the play.”

That day has come: next month Pratley makes his debut as a director with the Hong Kong Players in their production of Amadeus at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. Samuel Craig will play Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Stephanie Fodor his wife Constanze and Stephen Bolton his rival Antonio Salieri.

Pratley says more than 60 people showed up for auditions in March and the play’s 14 roles were filled quickly.

“Some people walked in and we would immediately decide that’s the best person to play a particular role,” says Pratley, a senior IT professional by day. “The hard part was there were other roles several people could have played, so it became a case of matching people. We needed to have the right Mozart with the right Constanze, for example.”

Amadeus is essentially a tragic tale narrated by Salieri, once an honoured composer of the court of Joseph II, who in the play has gone mad in old age, claiming he murdered composer Mozart in 1791.

The story is seen through Salieri’s eyes as he recalls a life consumed with jealousy living in the shadow of Mozart’s genius.

Pratley says the play has the power to engage because everyone can relate to its central theme of jealousy. The popularity of the movie also means many are familiar with the story. “But what most people don’t realise is how much better the play is than the film. It is very concentrated and direct.”

The play is fast paced and feels much shorter than its 150 minutes, Pratley says. “Shaffer constructs his plays using broad brushstrokes, showing you something on stage very fast. There are no elaborate curtain downs or scene changes. I am keen to ensure the staging and action maintains that pace.”

Pratley says he also wants to play up the dramatic contrasts between the waste of Mozart’s life and his marvellous achievements. “You certainly can’t watch two-and-a-half hours of tragedy and drama because it’s just too hard. So it’s important for the audience to have a few moments where they can smile,” he says. “I don’t think they will be laughing out loud – it’s not that kind of humour – but there are moments of comedy.”

A veteran of 97 productions, Pratley’s “second career” in community theatre stems from an interest he took in lighting more than two decades ago. Back then, theatre lights in amateur theatre were made out of old biscuit tins. The Briton from Leicestershire was fascinated by the versatility of stage lighting.

“It is about using all the tricks [available] to suggest locale, time… and obviously so we can see the actors. It also suggests the passage of time,” he says.

Andy Burt, a veteran stagehand, will handle the lighting for Amadeus, for which Pratley has designed the set. “Sitting down with the designer of the set is something that, as a director, I’d need to do. Given I was going to determine what I want as a director anyway, I thought I might as well do the set,” he says.

Pratley, who arrived in Hong Kong three years ago, says he likes the local English-language community theatre scene because there is no barrier between professionals and amateurs.
“I love the fact that your cast might be made up of paid and unpaid actors and you are rubbing shoulders with people who do this for a living. That tends to be less the case in the UK,” says Pratley. “I am delighted and lucky to be involved in so many productions here. I do joke about it and say it’s not that I’m any good, but that I’m cheap.”

Kevin Kwong

HK Magazine

3 Sept, 2009

Stephen Bolton is playing Mozart’s conflicted archenemy Antonio Salieri in the upcoming Hong Kong Players production of Peter Shaffer’s “Amadeus.” He talks to Sophia Chan.

Salieri (Stephen Bolton) and Mozart (Samuel J. Craig)
Photo: Ian Pratley

HK Magazine: Tell us a bit about Amadeus.
Stephen Bolton: I think it’s an amazing play and has everything that would make a night at the theater good. Even though the movie (“Amadeus”, 1984) was very popular and won a lot of Oscars, the play is much richer and darker and the intensity of the original script, which the film adapted omitting certain elements, really comes to life onstage.

HK: How did you prepare for the role of Salieri, who was supposedly dead jealous of Mozart?
SB: The play is so well written that it was basically a case of letting the words speak for themselves. I tried to just go along with the scale of emotions and not compromise the character itself. Playing such a complex, flamboyant character like Salieri requires a lot of imagination.

HK: Are you able to empathize with Salieri’s character and the acts he commits against Mozart?
SB: Yes, what he does is understandable, because on some level everyone’s probably been through the same thing, that feeling of being “second best.” Salieri refers to himself as the “patron saint of mediocrities”, and looking through his eyes, rather than as an onlooker, it’s actually quite easy to dislike Mozart. It’s what makes the play so great.

HK: Is classical music your thing? If so, do you prefer Mozart or Bach?
SB: I do enjoy it. As my parents are both fans, I grew up listening to it a lot and I sang in quite a few concert choirs. Both composers are great, but since I’ve spent the last two months listening to a lot of Mozart, I think he just edges out Bach.

HK: What’s your view on the theater scene in Hong Kong and the opportunities available for young actors here?
SB: Hong Kong is a difficult place for English-speaking actors to make a full-time living. Most actors have to supplement it with teaching or voice-over work and small roles in local movies. It really would be great to have professional companies able to survive. The amount of passion and expertise I’ve seen here, not just from actors but also from people like directors, set designers and musicians, is unbelievable. The theater scene is developing, but support from the government would be a big help.


RTHK Radio 3

7 Sept, 2009

Click to hear RTHK’s Phil Whelan interviewing Stephanie Fodor (Constanze) and Stephen Bolton (Salieri).


by Teri Fitsell, Katy Forse and Stephen Bolton


Hong Kong Players’ annual panto is always a huge hit, and 2009’s Aladdin, featuring a brand-new, locally-produced script, was described by many audience members as the best one we have ever done in our 49-year panto history.


Aladdin Bethan Greaves
Widow Twankey Lucas Cox
Wishee-Washee Alex Cooper
Abanazar Alex Sommerville
Princess Sharona Shafin Azim
Sultan Peter Lowe
Sultana Gail Harban
Genie Jane Archibald
Slave of the Ring Ric Beesley
Grand Henchmaiden Melissa Ashworth
Too-Shy Minna Cheung


Production Team

Director Stephen Bolton
Producer Elizabeth Lowe
Musical Director Andrew Swift
Choregrapher Charlotte Smith
Set Designer Ian Pratley
Lighting Designer Ian Pratley
Costume Designer Katy Scott
Special Props Designer Niall Greenan
Make-Up Leena Lempinen
Stage Manageresses Karly Cox / Katy Forse
Publicity Manager Teri Fitsell