Last night our Teacher Training Coordinator, Philippa Vallely, enjoyed Red Dragonfly’s production of “Diao Chan- The Rise of the Courtesan” at the Arts Theatre, London.
The play takes its story from Luo Guan Zhong’s classic novel “San Guo Yan Yi”, set against the backdrop of the end of the Han Dynasty and the subsequent warn-torn period of the Three Kingdoms. The tale follows the story of Diao Chan, a singing girl in the house of Wang Yun, a minister loyal to the court, who catches the eye of both DongZhuo- a tyrannical ruler- and his adopted son and bodyguard Lu Bu. Using this love rivalry to turn the father and son against each other, Diao Chan sets in motion a chain of events which changes the course of history for everyone involved.
The original story does not tell of what became of Diao Chan, but her courage and sacrifice became immortalised in Chinese history, as she is known as one of the four great beauties of China.
Diao Chan is the second production in a three year Chinese Classic Programme by Red Dragonfly Productions, and will be followed by Monkey: Journey to the West for 2016/17. As a way of engaging students and exposing them to Chinese history and literature, or just for an entertaining evening out, this production is a very good starting point; performances run until the 28th May. Red Dragonfly are happy to offer group/ student/ teacher discounts, please contact them directly.
More exciting opportunities for Chinese theatre are coming later in the year elsewhere too, with Yellow Earth Theatre running a workshop at our Annual Chinese Conference, on the topic of “Using Drama to teach Mandarin” and performing at the event. To book your place click here.