FISH HEADS & TALES - a tender war
Theatre du Pif's celebrated production inspired by the songs of Belgian balladeer Jacques Brel and his musings on life, love and death.

Brel's poetic songs inspired the company to produce a show that was described by Joy Hendry theatre critic of The Scotsman as "highly original and ravishingly distinctive" Fish Heads and Tales has gained legendary status within the Hong Kong theatre world since it first premiered in 1995 with its then new theatrical fusion of drama, dance, stunning visuals, live music and songs.  

 

It later played to full houses, and rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before touring all over of Scotland. It was invited to Beijing and Macau in the years that followed and was staged again in Hong Kong in 2001 where once more it played to full houses.

A condensed and revived version of the original performance was staged in 2016 to celebrate this production. 

Awards

The critics’ choice and the Ten most popular production prize at the 1995 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

 

The Best Actress award at the Hong Kong Drama Awards.

 

Critics 

"Theatre du Pif are doing something unique, exotic and wonderful"
Joy Hendry, The Scotsman Edinburgh Festival, 1995

 

"This figurative, impressionistic and delicate work is a feat of the imagination which leaps to life in all its vivid colours. Don't miss it!"
Neil Cooper, The List 1995

 

"...their movement and performance are heart gripping" Ho Chun Fai, Tai Kung Pao, 5 Jul 2001"...beautiful, pure, touching and full of love..."
Lon, Macau Daily, Jul 2001

"...their movement and performance are heart gripping" 

Ho Chun Fai, Tai Kung Pao, 5 Jul 2001

 

"...beautiful, pure, touching and full of love..."
Lon, Macau Daily, Jul 2001

Touring/Extended Performances

Feb 2016

A cabaret songs and sketches night at The Luxe Manor in Hong Kong – a condensed and revived version of the original performance  

July 2001

Forum Theatre, Macau (Touring)

June 2001

Hong Kong Sha Tin Town Hall
(Re-run)

Sept 1996

Beijing Capital Theatre sponsored by the British Council (Touring)

Jan 1996

Hong Kong Arts Centre (Re-run)

Dec 1995

Repulse Bay beach
(Waterscape version)

Aug 1995

Theatre Workshop
Edinburgh Fringe Festival and tour of Scotland
(Critics choice at the 95 Fringe Festival)

May 1995

Hong Kong Fringe Club (Premiere)

Team

Director
Bonni Chan

Performers

Bonni Chan, Sean Curran,
Phoebe Chan, Mandy Chen

Musician

Kenneth Yu

Jacques Brel (1929-78)


Jacques Brel was born in Belgium, moved to Paris in the late 50s and became accepted as one of France's leading singers/songwriters. Brel's forte was a cynical but poetic survey of the hopes, fears and futility of human condition, expressed with a mocking wit. Brel employed a range of musical styles, from music hall declamatory to jazz intimate.  English translations such as Amsterdam, Next, If You Go Away and My Death entered the repertoire of performers as diverse as David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Alex Harvey and Nina Simone. In 1966, Brel retired to the Marquesas Island in the Pacific.  His return from exile in 1977 (his "comeback" album sold more than a million advance copies) was said to be due to a search for a cure for the cancer. Brel passed away a year later.

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