I'd been meaning to record some of the responses we had to the show for a while. This is from Angharad Wyn-Jones, the director of LIFT: "Dis-Orientations is a revealing insight into the complexities of intercultural and same gender relationships in contemporary China. It is a richly complex production, with great performances from two singers from the Shanghai Yue Opera. I feel privileged to have seen it."
This is from Xinran: "I have learned a lot from Zhang Ruihong...she is the real soul of Chinese Opera... Thank you for letting me learn from you all..."
These are from our audience research questionnaires:
"First play I have seen. It was a fantastic experience" (from an 18-year old)
"Great. Engaging and moving. Beautiful and poetic."
"Fantastic! Can't understand why it's not sold out!"
"Thank you. It was beautiful, considered, touching, imaginative, refreshing and brave. I see a lot of theatre and that's the first cross-artform / cultural piece that has worked I have seen for a long time."
There was also one which said the piece was "selfish"..... I guess because this person found it hard to follow. You cannot please all of the people all of the time.
There were lots of good things dotted around the web - I'll just put in two. This is what Yein Chin wrote on Whatsonstage.com:
"Of all the plays I've seen so far this year, this was by far the best. The story was thought provoking. In the light of sexual awakening, individuals rediscovered love and lost love in the fusion of West met East, Ballet and Chinese Yue Opera. Some visual experiences were so hauntingly beautiful that they left me a sense of nostalgia and melancholia. Superb performance from all actors. I was deeply moved."
But my personal favourite, on the same site and on thisislondon.co.uk, is from somebody called "jonocambs", and says:
"Of all the multicultural art events I have seen over the last few years, this theatre production is probably the one that has had the most profound effect on me. It is the kind of theatre that bombards you with a hundred and one ideas and possibilities, leaving you so shell-shocked that its full effect won't sink in until a couple of days later. The relationship between the traditional Chinese yue opera and the stunning naturalistic performances of all the cast was sublime. The yue opera itself was totally unlike anything I've seen before... a real eye-opener and a gust of pleasant, fresh air. The story was a bit confusing in places, but I didn't mind when I was so submerged in the sheer beauty and musicality of the production as a whole. Moments of silence, awkward mis-understandings between cultures and people, are combined with vibrant yue singing, graceful movement sequences and thumping techno. The design is fabulous - it doesn't impede on the action at all, and yet forms a superior foundation for the questions asked in this piece that asks so many. I really loved the video segments, which is strange because I never usually like video in theatre. It added a new dimension to the piece. The acting was really superb, especially the guy playing the gay Chinese man and Madame Mao - he had so much energy. I've not seen two very different cultures and a world as diverse as Shanghai presented on stage in such a convincing and deceivingly powerful way as this production did for me. It is the best show I've seen all year. There is something for everybody. And it was really good to see such a mixed audience as well, about half the audience were Chinese or Asian. Is this the future for theatre? I really recommend it!"
Now, we may not have done that well financially - but I reckon this makes it all worthwhile!