British Army at the Edinburgh Fringe mark 75th anniversary of VJ Day with free streamed play
The story of Hong Kong under Japanese rule is one that most of the countries involved would prefer to forget, but which the world should always remember. For Britain is was a humiliating defeat, for Japan it was an episode of grim brutality and mainland China has little enthusiasm for tales that underline Hong Kong’s past outside its control.
This Saturday sees the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, when Imperial Japan surrendered and World War II finally came to an end. To mark the occasion Army @ The Virtual Fringe will stream Bill Aitchison and Indy Lee’s It Won’t Be Long Now, which tells the stories of Commonwealth POWs enduring the harsh conditions of an internment camp, and of the ordinary Hong Kong residents facing their own multitude of challenges on the other side of the barbed wire.
The play, in which Aitchison plays the Allied POWs and Lee tells the story of ordinary Hong Kongers, was originally to be performed on stage as part of the Fringe.
Aitchison says, “None of the major parties involved have any great desire to recall this troubled time so it has been allowed to slowly fade.
“Only, it seems, in Hong Kong where there is a renewed desire to preserve local history and maintain a distinct identity, is there a sense of this story being important.”
It Won’t Be Long Now will be streamed free on Saturday, 15 August, 2pm at www.armyatthefringe.org/virtual/it-wont-be-long-now