After the success of The Autumn of Han, Red Dragonfly, one of the UK’s hardest working British Asian Theatre companies, returns with another exciting adaptation of a Chinese classic. Based on the ancient Chinese legend, they are finishing their UK tour of DiaoChan: The Rise of The Courtesan with a three week run at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End this May.
Taken from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and often referred to as the Chinese Macbeth, DiaoChan is an epic tale of lust, jealousy and revenge, and it has been adapted for the stage for Red Dragonfly by award nominated British writer Ross Ericson.
In it the Empire is in turmoil and the tyrant DongZhuo, with the great warrior LuBu at his side, is systematically putting to the sword all those who oppose him. The minister WangYun fears for the lives of his family, but when both DongZhuo and LuBu show a lustful interest in DiaoChan – a singing girl of WangYun’s household – she comes up with a plan that could solve both their problems – a plan that would see DongZhuo fall and see her rise to the ranks of the nobility.
Although proud to be both British and East Asian, the story of DiaoChan is one of China’s oldest and you will not hear any faux Chinese accents on the stage.
‘As British East Asians,’ said Artistic Director Michelle Yim, originally from Hong Kong, ‘we want to bring classic tales from our heritage to the British stage in a style that is familiar to European audiences, but in a way that retains the authenticity and spirit of the original story. In doing so we hope to show that, as actors, can play more than just oppressed migrants, takeaway owners and cockle pickers and that we have some great stories to tell. Stories that can be funny, moving and entertaining.’
The production is supported by Unity Theatre Trust and using public funding by Arts Council England.
Performances: Monday 9 May through to Saturday 28 May 2016 at 7.30pm. Saturday matinees at 2pm.
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“Political machinations of ‘Wolf Hall’ with an exotic touch of ‘Shogun’… Phenomenal experience…A clever and fascinating piece of theatre, performed with great charm and passion.” – Craven Herald, Settle on DiaoChan
“A fantastic performance… DiaoChan was gripping. Bring us more Chinese classic please!” –Confucius Institute, University of Wales Trinity St David on DiaoChan