The founder of the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation puts boundless energy into inspiring children onto the stage. She was awarded an OBE in 2006.
How’s your relationship with Sai Kung?
Sai Kung and I are still getting to know each other. We bought our house about 12 months ago, but had a lengthy renovation, so only moved in about six months ago.
Why did you move here?
I have lived in Hong Kong for more than 20 years and plan on living here forever. So my partner, Donald, and I decided we wanted a place of our own.
Your favorite thing to do locally?I am looking forward to visiting the beaches – and some hiking.
Does the area influence your work?
Where we live is very peaceful, and I find it easy to drift away and let my imagination wander. I am currently researching a one-woman show, so I am doing a lot of reading. Curling up on the rooftop with my books and a glass of wine is very conducive to creativity!
What do you think of the plan for Hiram’s Highway?
One of the attractions of living in Sai Kung is that it’s quiet, beautiful and away from the masses, the downside of a dual carriageway is that it will open the way for more people and this will possibly spoil the environment and the area’s heritage.
Coolest thing you ever found on the beach?
When my son, Sam, was little he used to gather shells and make me necklaces – anyone who knows me is aware of my obsession to accessorize. I have one very beautiful and cool necklace he made when he was about six… he’s now 19 and loves that I have kept it all these years.
Favourite local restaurant?
One-thirtyone. Donald, the love of my life, took me there for my birthday and we sat at one of the outdoor tables – it was a perfect evening, beautiful weather, fabulous food; stuff I would never dream of ordering, every course a mini artwork. A really excellent evening!
Favourite Sai Kung activity?
Best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Don’t take no for an answer. I am a Rottweiler when I have an idea, I go all out to make it happen.
If you don’t ask you don’t get. And, as I have just finished directing RENT, “No day but today”.
Most important qualities in a friend?
Empathy, compassion, loyalty and laughter.
What would you spend a fortune on?
Tell us about your latest project.
YAF bounces from one project to another. We’ve just finished RENT and auditions for a site-specific dance project called “Point to Point”. We’re also working on a community arts project in Tin Shui Wai called “The Big Ride” and a mega arts installation project with the MTR. It never stops. Viva la vie Boheme!