With more than 100 shows running the gamut from Chinese opera to improvised dance and comical magic to cutting edge drama, here’s our pick of this week’s most intriguing performances.

 Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker

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Photo: Courtesy of Macao Arts Festival

Part pop concert, part controlled chaos, orchestrated by a rigorous director—this is Japanese subculture conveyed in all its multi-coloured, cacophonous, frenetic glory.

You’ll be equipped with rain poncho and ear guards but you’ll still be surprised by what is thrown at you, as twenty-five actors storm the stage. Confronting you at breakneck speed, they bombard the senses with a precisely choreographed medley of dance, music, bellowed slogans and video clips.

Founded by Tokyo-based artist Toco Nikaido, one of the most talked-about artists in Japan, Miss Revolutionary Idol Berserker pays homage to otagei—geeky dance routines performed by superfans to their Japanese pop idols. Kitted out in rainbow-hued costumes and armed with an abundance of disposable props, her riotous company breaks down the barriers between cast and audience as it hurtles towards a festival-like finale that invites everyone to take part.

May 19-21
Old Court Building, 2/F, Avenida da Praia Grande
+853 2855 5555, icm.gov.mom.fam, macauticket.com

The Nether

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Photo: Courtesy of Macao Arts Festival

Jennifer Haley’s critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning play The Nether is an intricate crime drama and a haunting thriller set in the year 2050. Exploring the moral responsibility in virtual worlds, it opens with a familiar interrogation scene given a technological twist.

As Detective Morris, an online investigator, questions Mr Sims about his activities in a role-playing realm so realistic it could be life, she finds herself on the slippery ethical ground. Sims argues for the freedom to explore even the most deviant corners of our imagination. Morris holds that we cannot flesh out our malign fantasies without consequence.

Their clash of wills leads to a consequence neither could have imagined. Suspenseful, ingeniously constructed, and fiercely intelligent, Haley’s play, with multimedia and live projection forces us to confront deeply disturbing questions about the boundaries of reality.

 May 19 & 20
Macao Cultural Centre Small Auditorium
+853 2855 5555, icm.gov.mom.fam, macauticket.com

 Stormy Luck

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Photo: Courtesy of Macao Arts Festival

Bernardo has always had little luck—misfortune stalks him around the corner and happens to him in the most unbelievable ways. On the day of our story, he thinks it is a godsend.

When he finds out he has won the Hong Kong lottery. But such luck isn’t for Bernardo! Due to a violent typhoon threatening both regions, he cannot head to Hong Kong to claim his prize, and the ticket he holds becomes a treasure sought by all.

Performed by a group of local actors, members of The Dóci Papiaçám di Macau Drama Group, and directed by Miguel de Senna Fernandes, the play condemns social ills through sarcasm and humour, yet with a distinctly humanistic approach.

Stormy Luck is also an exemplar of Patuá theatre, an indigenous artistic expression of the Patuá language, which has now been inscribed on Macao’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The language is a creole based on Portuguese vocabulary and integrating Malay, Cantonese, English and Spanish, reflecting the city’s multicultural history.

May 19 & 20
Macao Cultural Centre Grand Auditorium
+853 2855 5555, icm.gov.mom.fam, macauticket.com

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Tags: Macao Arts Festival, Macao Cultural Centre, Macau Theatre