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Chinese classic to open in London’s West End

DiaoChan ProductionRed Dragonfly, the UK’s hardest working British East Asian Theatre company, are to finish their UK tour of DiaoChan: The Rise of The Courtesan with a three week run at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End in May 2016.

They ‘are proud to be both British and East Asian and, although the story of DiaoChan is one of China’s oldest, you will not hear any faux Chinese accents on our stage‘.

As British East Asians,’ said Artistic Director Michelle Yim, ‘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.

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.

The production is supported by Unity Theatre Trust and using public funding by Arts Council England.

Monday 9th May to Saturday 28th May 2016
Above the Arts, Arts Theatre, Great Newport St, London WC2H 7JB
Performance: Mon-Sat 7.30pm (Sat Matinee 2pm)
Box Office: 020 7836 8463
Twitter: @ArtsTheatreLDN


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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