Our History
Founded in 1979
Peter Day

Dr. Colin Davies of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong proposed to Peter Day, Director of Arts at the British Council, the idea of establishing a professional educational theatre in Hong Kong. Peter observed the local theatre scene and understood the importance of making theatre popular and accessible, not only stage performances, but also get involve in schools and communities. As such, the idea was put forward to Peter Cavaye, a senior member of the British Council, and received strong support. Thanks to the support of the Urban Council, Gregory Memorial Fund, British Airways and the Goldburn Foundation, sufficient funds were raised to implement the six-month pilot programme.
Glen Walford

On August 1, Chung Ying Theatre Company was established, making it the second professional theatre company and the first all-English theatre company in Hong Kong. Taking the reins was inaugural Artistic Director Glen Walford, pioneer of the Theatre Vanguard and Bubble Theatre in the UK, who believes that the uniqueness of the theatre is built on the actors' nature. Aside from a strict selection of actors, she's also arranged frequent rehearsal workshops for them to take part in the creative process — such as character building and interpretation — of each production. Since the days of Glen's direction, Chung Ying Theatre Company has become accustomed to discussing their scripts in workshops, a process that has fostered a sense of cohesion and harmony amongst the actors.

Glen Walford and the Company

Chung Ying Theatre Company brought The Merchant of Venice to local schools, and it was a huge success.

Chung Ying Theatre Company debut public performance, "The Three Cents Opera", at the Hong Kong City Hall. Bearing strong Hong Kong tones, the production was set against Wan Chai nightlife.
Report on the first 6 months of

Chung Ying Theatre Company

The first season ended on January 31. This six-month pilot programme was successful with impressive result that it received further support from the British Council and other sponsors for the second season in September. Chung Ying Theatre Company also received funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Education Department.
Artistic Director Glen Walford was committed to promoting theatre education and has made a number of productions with community tour. These include children's theatre "Lunch Bunch", which taught children how to make a cup of English tea. This novel theatre experience thrilled students. On the touring list of "Lunch Bunch" are Vietnamese refugee camps, whose children were delighted to see Chung Ying's work. They each held a playbill for "Lunch Bunch" and were reluctant to part with Chung Ying members when the show ended.
Chung Ying Theatre Company toured overseas for the first time. Under the name of England-Asia Touring Theatre Company, showcased the adaptation work of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" in a number of cities in Malaysia.

Actors went to a pigsty to research for "Animal Farm".
The first two seasons of Chung Ying Theatre Company were exclusively English. In October 1981, "Drink The Mercury" was the first Cantonese performance. Since then, the number of Cantonese productions increased to meet the demands of local audiences. In the same year, Chung Ying also opened its first recruitment for Chinese actors. May Wong Mei-lan became the first Chinese actor in Chung Ying. Since there were no official local training programme, Chung Ying actively hosted actors' training courses to recruit potential talents. Carmen Lo Ching-man became a full-time actor after the training course.
In the same year, Chung Ying also opened its first recruitment for Chinese actors. May Wong Mei-lan became the first Chinese actor in Chung Ying. Since there were no official local training programme, Chung Ying actively hosted actors' training courses to recruit potential talents. Carmen Lo Ching-man became a full-time actor after the training course.
Chung Ying Theatre Company officially left the British Council on April 1 to become an independent, non-profit organisation. It was funded by the Hong Kong Government and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities) Trust. From an office with only a desk and two chairs, Chung Ying started operating independently in a commercial unit on Connaught Road West in Sheung Wan.
Colin George

Veteran theatre practitioner Colin George took over as Artistic Director and launched his first year-round season. With adequate experience in directing classic productions around the world, Colin was behind a number of large-scale shows during his tenure at the Company, from which the actors gained ample experience. This laid the foundation for future sizeable productions to come.
During the rerun of "The Miracle Plays of Wakefield", Sir Edward Youde was the governor of Hong Kong. He was invited by Chung Ying Theatre Company and attended the stage performance at St. John's Cathedral, who also extended words of encourage to the troupe backstage.
Bernard Goss

Bernard Goss has taken over as Artistic Director. Chung Ying Theatre Company also entered the era of a full-Chinese cast in 1985. Bernard was also an exceptional director and teacher which his professionalism and dedication brought Chung Ying to a new heights. Aside from acting skills, Bernard demanded actors to have a comprehensive understanding of and uttered devotion to the production. He was skilled at addressing actor's uniqueness into the productions, allowing for more interpretations and possibilities. Chung Ying was formed by a group of youngsters brimming with stamina and vivacity. Bernard Goss asked them to bring all their energy to every rehearsal and made adjustments accordingly. His approach not only birthed a youthful style of the troupe, but also started the "Ensemble" culture to Chung Ying.
Rupert Chan

Rupert Chan collaborated with Chung Ying Theatre Company for the first time. His distinguished style of translation in the children programme "Insect World" was applausive. Subsequently, he did countless play translations and adaptations for Chung Ying, including "Twelfth Night", "Hobson's Choice", "Spring Fever Hotel", and "Tuesdays with Morrie".

"Twelfth Night"(1986)

Hobson's Choice

Spring Fever Hotel
After the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, Hong Kong citizens faced the 1997 Handover issue under colonial government. "I am Hong Kong" was the first bilingual production in Chung Ying Theatre Company featuring both Chinese and English, reflective of the dichotomies in both people's identities and the Hong Kong society. The production rose Chung Ying reputation to the public.
Chung Ying Theatre Company moves to the Hong Kong Arts Centre for a year.
1986 had 3 overseas tours including "The Chinese Legend: The Dragon's Disciples" in March at the Young People's Theatre in Singapore; "I am Hong Kong" and "The Chinese Legend: The Dragon's Disciples" in Macau in May; followed by reruns of both shows in Australia in June.
Chung Ying Theatre Company co-organised the Hong Kong Drama/Theatre and Education Forum with the Hong Kong Arts Centre and The Hong Kong Institute for Promotion of Chinese Culture, which invited theatre professionals from nearby cities for cultural exchange and discussion in Hong Kong.
Bernard Goss passed away suddenly from illness; May Wong Mei-lan took over as Acting Artistic Director.
Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson has taken over as Artistic Director. Reputed for expanding actors' horizons with the power of theory, she paid particular attention to the text, which could help complementing actors' shortcomings and enabled them to master their performance. Meanwhile, she also took a unique view on educational theatre, believing that it should not only be a tool in school courses, but also as an extra inspiration to strengthen students' social sensitivity, enhance awareness in their development and passion for creativity. As such, she created posts including Education and Outreach Officer plus the Theatre Workshop Officer to promote educational theatre. Chung Ying always has been the pioneer in theatre education and was the first theatre in Hong Kong to set up such posts.

Chris Johnson and the Company
The inaugural "Chung Ying Studio Shorts" was established to train the Chung Ying members on different roles in theatre. Members also learnt about performing through co-writing short plays, which is part of Ko Tin Lung's plan of promoting the development of local original works.

Chung Ying Theatre Company relocated to 10 Borrett Road, Mid-levels, which was recognised as a Grade II historical building by the Antiquities Advisory Board and was reclassified as a Grade I historical building in 2009. In the same year, the Council for Performing Arts freezed the funding for Chung Ying Company for three consecutive years starting from this season.

Chung Ying Theatre Company invited Gerry Flanagan to co-create with the resident cast "Fools, Fools, Fools!" and "Don't let go!" — two productions that featured a number of clowns and masks. The production was a challenge to the cast, but also a chance to realised their strengths and flaws in the rehearsals. During the school tours of "Fools, Fools, Fools!" , the Duchess of Kent, Katherine Lucy Mary Windsor, visited to Hong Kong and the performance with students. In 1992, the show toured in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada.
To further foster local creativity, Christine Johnson offered collaborative opportunities for Chung Ying Theatre Company to build the foundations of performance and text processing. 1992 also had the full play "Far Way Home", written and directed by Cheung Tat-Ming; it was the first locally written play to participate in the Hong Kong Arts Festival. "Far Way Home" was crowned Best Script and Best Direction (Comedy/Farce) in the first Hong Kong Theatre Awards.

In the 90s, the Hong Kong Government announced plans for reclamation that would connect Stonecutters Island with West Kowloon for container terminals. Prior to reclamation, Chung Ying Theatre Company entered the restricted area of the British military base and created its first environmental theatre, "The Island That Sing", to raise issues surrounding environmental protection. The audience gathered at the Star Ferry Pier, where the cast posed as fellow audience members, tour guide, boat crew, passengers and more. The group sailed to Stonecutters Island together and walked to the performance set.

The stage design was designed in a distinctive style. Designer adapted to the natural environment and made a removable set. Without the computer graphics assistance, designers brought film camera to take photos onsite, and came back for drafting the drawings to built the set model by cardboard and bamboo sticks, which give the creative team the concrete idea of the set design.
Ko Tin Lung

Ko Tin Lung became the first Chinese Artistic Director of Chung Ying Theatre Company. Since high school, Ko Tin Lung was already in touch with his inner theatrical artist whether in writing, directing or acting. He later became a high school teacher and soon joined the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, where he was promoted to Assistant Artistic Director, responsible for the development of local theatre. Not long after joining Chung Ying Theatre Company, he set his sights on developing local, original theatre, believing that originality was what the scene lacked as Hong Kong's stages predominantly featured foreign stories and plays. Ko Tin Lung wanted to produce shows that resonated with a local audience. Just after taking up his post, he debut his first locally written play, with a full house record.

Ko Tin Lung and the Company at 1995/96

Ko Tin Lung and the Company at 2002/03

Ko Tin Lung continued to promote original productions in Chung Ying Theatre Company in lieu of the lack of local classics in Hong Kong. One such show, "The School & I" is based on a true story depicting a village school in Sai Kung that's about to shut down. Fully embracing inspirations gained from life, the touching story features a headmaster, a teacher and their only student.
Artistic Director Ko Tin Lung was invited to visit in the States.
Chung Ying Theatre Company restructures, and the Board of Directors set up an independent advisory panel to better steer and give advises on Chung Ying's overall direction, plays selection, and performance standards.

The "Play Ground" scriptwriting workshops were set up, alongside the first public reading of participants' scripts.
Chung Ying Theatre Company received a three-year grant from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The total sum, however, was 17% less than that of 1998. In the same year, Chung Ying returned to the Hong Kong Arts Centre with a short-term residency programme.

"Borrett Laboratory" was founded to explore the possibilities of public performances with original scripts , which was also part of the Ko Tin Lung's plan to promote of local original theatre.

Chung Ying Theatre Company partook in "Goku (Monkey King)" with theatre personnel from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea and toured in Tokyo, Macao, Guangdong, Beijing, Singapore and Seoul.
After a three-year hiatus, Rupert Chan translated, adapted and wrote the lyrics to Broadway musical classic, "Little Shop of Horrors". The cast included Elton Lau, Edmond Lo, Wendy Mok, Chow Wai-keung, Tsui Yuk-fun, Mabel Cheung, Jenus Ho, Big John Chan and Prince Wong. The show received wide acclaim. Edmond Lo was also crowned the Best Support Actor (Comedy/Farce) in the 12th Hong Kong Drama Awards.

Another initiative of Artistic Director Ko Tin Lung, "Playwrights' Theatre" was set up to promote and develop quality local original theatre. The programme started with two new positions of resident playwrights at Chung Ying Theatre Company by offering monthly salary and a platform for emerging playwrights to create their productions. The appointed playwrights of the time were Candace Chong and Shing-him Leung (a.k.a. Yauyau)
Hong Kong was attacked by SARS. Chung Ying Theatre Company — along with City Contemporary Dance Company, Hong Kong Ballet, The Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Theatre Ensemble and Zuni Icosahedron — host "Art Relief for SARS" to raise funds for the "We Care Education Fund" to help children who've lost loved ones to the disease.
In 2002 - 2003, Chung Ying Theatre Company's "Drama-in-Education" department partakes in the "Arts-in-Education Programme" jointly organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Education Commission and The Education University of Hong Kong. The programme was awarded "Outstanding Project Award" by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
One of the then resident playwrights, Candace Chong, created "Alive in the Mortuary" to pay homage to Médecins Sans Frontières. The production received wide acclaim in Hong Kong and was re-run countless times over the years. In 2004, Chung Ying Theatre Company partook in the "Bilateral Cultural Exchange Project" jointly organised by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. "Alive in the Mortuary" became the first local theatre production translated into Japanese and performed in Japan.
After 15 years, Ko Tin Lung finished "One of the Lucky Ones" (Step 2) to put on stage along with the remade version of "One of the Lucky Ones" (Step 1).
To meet the requirements of Liberal Studies in Hong Kong, Chung Ying Theatre Company actively promoted drama education. With the support of the Hong Kong Ferry Company Limited, Chung Ying organised the first drama education programme, "Chung Ying Education Theatre Cruise". The stage was taken onto a cruise and let students felt the substance of theatre, which in turn inspired them to think about the dilemma within the story.
"Tuesdays with Morrie" "Tuesdays with Morrie" starring Dr. Chung King-fai was well received. From 2007 to 2017, the production was put on stage 23 times in Hong Kong and in Chinese communities around the world, making it the production with the most mileage at Chung Ying Theatre Company
With its years of experience in children's drama education, Chung Ying Theatre Company founded "SMILE", the early-childhood education programme that aimed to enhance children's development in self-care, motor skills, intelligence, social and emotional development as well as language and communication via group activities and arts training. The programme hoped to teach children about themselves so as to achieve as holistic and balanced development in the long run.

The YL TSW Youth Musical Theatre Group was formed to nurture arts development in the remoted community. In December, the Group had the first performance at different shpping malls of The Link Management Limited. Chung Ying Theatre Company co-operated with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in the "Oral History Theatre Projects" and puts on the first oral history show, "The Way We Grew Up" with the drama group of The Hong Kong Society of the Aged.

Chung Ying Theatre Company joined with the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to put on the graduation production, "Legends", for the first student of Master of Fine Arts in Directing, Sam Leung. This became the seed of the Chung Ying subsequent partnership with HKAPA, with productions including "I, Don Quixote", "The Memorandum" and "The Damn Technology".
Chung Ying Theatre Company celebrated the 30th anniversary and put on a Broadway classic, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" and a re-run of "The Merchant of Venice".
Chung Ying Theatre Company became the venue partner of Yuen Long Theatre and hosted a number of children drama education courses in Yuen Long and Kwai Tsing Theatre. These later became the prototypes of the SMILE™ Chung Ying Kids Drama Course.
Rupert Chan became the Chairman of Board of Directors, who served across in various capacities, from a member, Vice Chairman to Treasurer. Guiding Chung Ying with his years of administrative know-how.
First time invited to the attend China International Performing Arts Fair and promote Chung Ying to Mainland and overseas theatres.
Chung Ying Theatre Company set up the "Centre of Dramatic Art" in Sheung Wan as a pilot to launch the SMILETMChung Ying Kids Drama Course. The YL TSW Youth Musical Theatre Group received funding from the Lee Hysan Foundation to expand the project scale as well as the target ranging from 8 to 17 years old children and youths.

"The Hong Kong Society for the Aged —SAGE Elderly Drama Group" and Chung Ying Theatre Company's "Good Try Theatre" put on its first "The Golden Aged Theatre" and offered platform for seniors to show their talents.
Education and Outreach Department was invited to attend the 8th International Drama/Theatre Education Association in Paris and share the experience of Oral History Theatre Projects
Received generous funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities) Trust, Chung Ying Theatre Company completed a large-scale of renovations with the upgrade of the rehearsal room and office. Hosted the "Jockey Club Chung Ying Educational Theatre Institute" opening ceremony to promote drama, theatre education and outreach events.

Supported by the Home Affairs Bureau, Chung Ying Theatre Company launched the "Reinvigorating a Vital Tradition" project in partnership with Red Shift Theatre Productions, staging literary classics "Jekyll & Hyde" and "A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood" in Hong Kong, London, and subsequently Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2016 with 23 shows. Later, Artistic Director Dominic Cheung translated "A Tale of Two Cities: Blood for Blood" into Chinese, which was staged in the 43rd season of Chung Ying at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre to reinforce the close ties with English theatre personnel.
SMILE™ Chung Ying Kids Drama Course successfully registered for a trademark.

The YL TSW Youth Musical Theatre Group expanded to Tung Chung district and renamed "Muse Up! Youth Musical Theatre Troupe", which continued to benefit more youths living in remoted areas.
SMILE™️+ Chung Ying Youth Drama Troupe was established to present the learning outcomes with a professional platform. Sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities) Trust, Chung Ying Theatre Company carried out a three-year Jockey Club “Once Under the Lion Rock” Oral History Theatre Programme. Since the debut oral history drama, the project has spread into in 11 districts in Hong Kong. "Muse Up! Youth Musical Theatre Troupe" celebrated the 10th anniversary and continued receiving generous funding from the Lee Hysan Foundation. Launched a two-year theatre project with the theme of "environmental protections".
Dominic Cheung

Dominic Cheung appointed as Artistic Director and steered Chung Ying Theatre Company towards the "Ensemble". Every production, education and outreach programme became the fruit of every Group member.

Dominic Cheung appointed as Artistic Director and steered Chung Ying Theatre Company towards the "Ensemble". Every production, education and outreach programme became the fruit of every Group member.

Chung Ying Theatre Company celebrated the 40th anniversary and organised an exhibition at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre themed "Zero to Infinity", showcasing Chung Ying footprints in Hong Kong across the past four decades.
"COVID-19 becomes a global pandemic, and the HKSAR announces strict social-distancing measures including closure of performance venues, attendance limits (venue capacity ranged from 50% to 85%), mask mandates, distance limitations between the audience and performers as well as travel restrictions — to name but a few. Chung Ying Theatre Company dutifully followed all the above-mentioned measures and fought the virus alongside the city. During the pandemic, many stage performances and educational outreach activities — such as the ""Oral History Theatre Projects"", drama courses, graduation performances — were cancelled and postponed. Cultural exchanges also came to a halt. Yet, Chung Ying members continued to create and relayed the power of drama through online theatre readings, drama courses and performance recordings — amongst other novel means. "
Retirement of Artistic Director Ko Tin Lung.
Chung Ying Theatre Company launched the "Love in the time of Pandemic: One Ticket for One Story" campaign to encourage the audiences to return to theatre after the pandemic. To continue children's drama education even at home, the Education and Outreach Department also launched online programmes including Sail Against the Virus, SMILE430, SMILE at your door as well as the Jockey Club Community Sustainablility Fund - "Listening for Wellness" Drama Programme.
Rupert Chan passed away in September 2019. To commemorate his talent and contribution to the world of theatre, Chung Ying Theatre Company published "Rupert Chan's Memorial e-book". His last tranlastion work "Pride & Prejudice" was staged in Kwai Tsing Theatre. Adapted from Jane Austen's novel, Rupert's version is set against a 1950s Happy Valley and brims with Cantonese colloquialisms to reveal class distinction and the boundlessness of the language itself. Complementing this impressive script was a stage designed by Douglas Ho that brings to life the yesteryears of Hong Kong. The stage design received a silver medal at the IDA International Design Awards in the States.

Under the "Art Development Matching Grants", Chung Ying Theatre Company invited Ceri Sherlock, former Dean of the School of Drama at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, to plan and implement the three-year "Young Talent Incubator Scheme" to train resident artists and to broaden their artistic horizons.

"Whithering Wombs" was devised by the creative team.

Chung Ying Theatre Company understood the diversified training is the prerequisite to the long-term development of the industry. As such, Chung Ying collaborated with the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong) to organise "In-depth Review" Exchange Programme on Theatre Critiques to nurture young theatre critics and to broaden the audience's horizons.

In June, former Artistic Director Ko Tin Lung passed away: Chung Ying Theatre Company expressed its condolences. During his 26-year tenure, Ko Tin Lung was devoted to fostering local, original drama and the promotion of drama education. His vision and mannerisms had a deep influence on local theatre personnel. In August, Chung Ying hosted a commemorative exhibition at the Hong Kong City Hall and published a remembrance booklet to share the contributions of a generation of honoured theatre practitioners.
COVID-19 plagued Hong Kong for more than three years. The mask-wearing mandate was lifted on March 1, and the normalcy started to resume.
Chung Ying Theatre Company celebrates its 45th anniversary with a new brand image
To demonstrate the Company's commitment to the past, future and its zeitgeist.

To honour the theatre professionals who've crossed paths with the Company, three scholarships are set up in the names of Bernard Goss, Rupert Chan and Ko Tin Lung across the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the University of Hong Kong to support the future development of the theatre industry.

Chung Ying also hopes to seek contributions from the public to realise a brighter and better tomorrows in theatre.