SOAS University of London

SOAS China Institute

It Won't Be Long Now

It Wont Be Long Now
Dr Bill Aitchison (Artistic Director Bill Aitchison Company / Nanjing University)

Date: 14 February 2019Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 14 February 2019Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT)

Type of Event: Performance


It Won’t Be Long Now is a solo theatre piece set in 1940s Hong Kong under Japanese occupation. It follows the experiences of Allied prisoners of war incarcerated in the Shamshuipo Prison Camp. It is based on real histories and is a show about survival in a time of hardship. It is a part of the Shamshuipo Heroes series of performances that give voice to diverse histories of this part of Kowloon.

It Won’t Be Long Now is performed in an expressive physical style that creates many powerful images and features a specially commissioned text inspired fro historical sources. It tells both the outward story of imprisonment, hunger and exile and the inward story of irrational optimism conquering doubt and despair.

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It Won't Be Long Now

very professional … a particularly thoughtful design … an important history of Hong Kong that should not be forgotten
The Strand (HK)

this is the most impressive work of the entire festival … the kind of play that I will remember and like to savor the details of for a long time.
Laiwu Theatre Press (China)

Performed in English. Running time 70 minutes approx. The performance will be followed by a Q&A with Dr Aitchison and Mok Chiu Yu (producer/dramaturg) 

It Won’t Be Long Now is a CCCD, Hong Kong Dramatists & Bill Aitchison Company co-production made with the support of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.


Bill Aitchison is a British theatre and performance artist based in China. He has presented his work in galleries, theatres and festivals in Europe, Asia, America, Australia and The Middle East. He is a graduate of Ecole de Mime Corporel Dramatique, holds a practice-based PhD from Goldsmiths College, is curator of Last Minute Live Art (China) and teaches at Nanjing University. Recent work (2018) includes a solo exhibition at Green Wave Art (HK) curating live art festivals and events in Nanjing for Last Minute Live Art, directing bilingual devised theatre company IS, Devising It Won’t Be Long Now (HK Arts Centre) and solo performances in AMNUA Museum, Shenzhen Live Art Festival, Baptist University (HK) Cement Park Shanghai, Shenzhen Fringe, Above the Clouds Festival Kunming, Rolling Snowball (Iceland) Space Studios (London) as well as film and TV work (CCTV).

Mok Chiu Yu helped to set up the Asian People's Theatre Festival Society in the early 1990s and the Centre for Community Cultural Development (CCCD) in 2004. He was a political activist during the 1970s and published an alternative youth paper ‘70s Biweekly’ in Hong Kong. Educated in bourgeois economics in South Australia, he visited the UK for the first time in 1973. During his stay in London he wrote an article for Time Out with an expose of the gambling dens in China Town under the pen-name L.N. Mok. After Mok Chiu Yu left the stage of political rallying and organizing he moved into theatre.

Through attending various international gatherings, Mok became an organizer of international festivals, seminars and conferences in Hong Kong in addition to cultural caravans to different Asian cities such as the cross cultural productions of Big Wind, Yours Most Obediently and Macau 1,2,3. A major international conference he organized in Hong Kong was the IDEA (International Drama/Theatre & Education Association) Congress in 2007.

Believing that theatre is not the only art form that empowers, in 2004, he helped establish the community arts organization "Centre for Community Cultural Development" that promotes (individual and collective) participation of all different art forms. In theatre, CCCD attempts to blend theatre of the oppressed and play-back theatre into play-forward theatre. At the same time, it has been working on solo performances of "heroes" who lived, grew up and were found in the Sham Shui Po area where CCCD has its base. It Won't be Long Now is the 6th of the series.

Dr Rossella Ferrari

Organiser: SOAS China Institute, CCCD and Bill Aitchison Company

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Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4823