Chinese physical theatre influenced by Shakespeare’s
This show is an assault on the senses; visually stunning, audibly mesmerising and heart stoppingly thrilling.
The show centres around Helena a re-imagined character from A Midsummer Night’s Dream who in this production is a single, put upon female office worker in her late twenties living in Shanghai. This play touches on the issue of the ‘left over women’ in China; women who are stigmatised for not yet being married in their late twenties. With a constantly moving set we are transported into many different scenes from the office, to Helena’s bedroom, to nights out in Shanghai. The cast members so skilfully move and change the props while telling their story through beautifully executed movement sequences. Even though this piece was in another language and mainly told through physical theatre it remained accessible throughout.
This is a stunning representation of both traditional and modern China with Chinese shadow puppetry and the scenes in which we follow Helena’s daily life in Shanghai. Dream versus reality is a huge theme as is magic which is where Puck and Bottom and all of the other characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream come to life. Helena’s longing for love is played out in her dream sequences contrasting to the reality of her somewhat routine put upon work life where she feels left behind by her peers. This show is an assault on the senses; visually stunning, audibly mesmerising and heart stoppingly thrilling. I left the theatre on such a high as I knew I had just witnessed something very special.