Theatre du Pif was formed in Scotland in 1992 by Bonni Chan and Sean Curran and for three years, they conducted daily classes, taught professional and community groups and devised productions that toured around the UK and Europe.
In 1995, Theatre du Pif relocated to Hong Kong and became known for its cross-cultural heritage and bilingual productions performing in Cantonese, English or both. Often using a workshop and devising process as well as collaborations with dramaturges and artists from other disciplines, the company orchestrates movement, text and visual images to create new productions acclaimed for their power and their poetry.
The company has staged plays by a variety of world dramatists including Jean Anouilh, Samuel Beckett, David Harrower, Henrik Ibsen, Sarah Kane, Federico Garcia Lorca, Harold Pinter, Yasmina Reza and Cao Yu. They have collaborated with a number of international theatre directors and artists including Robert Draffin (Australia), Mikel Murfi (Ireland), Adrian Noble (UK), Yang Jun-gung (Korea), Jovanni Sy (Canada) and more.
Taking theatre into the community has been a key element of the company’s work and they facilitated a series of community theatre projects including three devised productions with a group of housewives from Hong Kong and Diversity (2002) commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council to celebrate cultural diversity in Scotland.
The company also takes its work abroad, touring its productions upon invitation to Beijing, Berlin, Bogota, Malaysia, Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, Macau, Vancouver and the UK. In 2010, Theatre du Pif was invited to stage its critically acclaimed production The Will to Build at the Shanghai World Expo where it was the opening programme of the Hong Kong cultural week.
Theatre du Pif has been financially supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
“Theatre du Pif operates at the cutting edge of modern theatre.” – South China Morning Post
“The most Innovative and cross-culturally aware theatre company in Hong Kong.” – Time Out Hong Kong
“Theatre du Pif is one of the Hong Kong’s most innovative performing arts companies.” – Monocle Magazine
Bonni graduated from the Hong Kong Academy of Ballet and went on to study acting at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, winning the Best Actress of the Year award for three consecutive years.
After graduating, she joined the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and performed in a number of productions. In 1991 she moved to London to study with various teachers, and in 1992 founded Theatre du Pif with Sean Curran. Since returning to Hong Kong in 1995, she has continued to devise and direct all of Theatre du Pif’s original productions.
She won the Best Actress at the Hong Kong Drama Awards for her roles in Fish Heads and Tales – A Tender War as well as The Oak Tree – An Odyssey. In 2015 she was again nominated for the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Hedda Gabler in Adrian Noble’s production of Ibsen’s classic play. In 2016, she received an honorary fellowship of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The Hong Kong Theatre Libre voted her Best Actress of the Year for her performance in 4.48 Psychosis – A Staged Reading, she also won IATC(HK) Critics Awards’ Performance of the Year, Director of the Year, Performer of the Year and Scenography of the Year for the performance 4.48 Psychosis. Her recent work as the guest director on Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov for The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts was nominated for the Best Director in IATC(HK) Critics Awards and The Hong Kong Theatre Libre Award.
She is a professional Feldenkrais practitioner.
Sean studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and with Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He is the founder and Co-Artistic Director of Theatre du Pif and he has devised and performed in most of the company productions. In 2010 he won the Outstanding Leading Actor award at the Hong Kong Theatre Libre Awards for his role in David Harrower’s play Knives in Hens. He performed the role of narrator in Samson Young’s new composition Such Sweet Thunder in collaboration with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta at the 2018 Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Sean is also a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and he has led many workshops and classes for performers in Asia, Europe, Canada and South America. He also teaches voice and movement, and the Feldenkrais Method at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In recent years his work has extended beyond the theatre, including teaching voice and communication skills to business executives, and The Feldenkrais Method to teachers, social workers and people in recovery from cancer.
In collaboration with the West Kowloon Cultural District Sean recently curated The Foundations of Performance - A series of workshops and conversations designed to bring together artists from different fields to exchange experience and inspiration.