Hong Kong Tennis Open, ‘Matilda the Musical’ postponed amid ongoing protests

Screengrab from a promotional video for the Hong Kong Tennis Open in 2018. Screengrab via YouTube.
Screengrab from a promotional video for the Hong Kong Tennis Open in 2018. Screengrab via YouTube.

The 2019 Hong Kong Tennis Open (HKTO) and Matilda the Musical have joined Trevor Noah in pulling the plug on planned Hong Kong events amid ongoing anti-government protests.

According to a statement published on the HKTO website this morning, organizers have decided that “a smooth running of the tournament can be better assured at a later time,” and that they and the Women’s Tennis Association are now looking into finding another week to host the event.

The tennis tournament, which last year saw such big names as Naomi Osaka participate, was set to take place Oct. 5 -13 at Victoria Park’s tennis stadium in Causeway Bay. Victoria Park, of course, has served as the starting point for a number of major pro-democracy rallies in the city.

Sadly, the tennis tourney wasn’t alone.

Last night, it was announced that performances of Matilda the Musical — which was due to begin its month-long run at Wan Chai’s Lyric Theatre next week — will also be postponed.

A statement released by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, a live entertainment company specializing in theater, said the weeks of protests have “decimated ticket sales,” and that they couldn’t “guarantee the safety and wellbeing of our international company, which comprises a large number of young children.”

The company said that they’re hoping to bring the show to Hong Kong next year.

Less than two weeks ago, the Hong Kong Triathalon announced that their big event, the Hong Kong ASTC Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup and the Asian Aquathlon Championships, had been canceled as well, with organizers saying the civil unrest could “compromise the safety of athletes, officials and participants alike.”

Daily Show star Trevor Noah was among the early exits, with organizers postponing the Hong Kong leg of his stand-up tour to an “indefinite date” nearly a month ago now.

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