Sunday, June 25, 2006

More things Chinese

Nixon's been open for a week and a bit (three shows so far). The reviews have been fantastic - which gives a bit of a glow. Good news is we've been asked to do it again next spring in Athens (the birthplace of theatre and democracy - and I've never been there!). Spent Friday with the designer Stefanos Lazaridis, who is now Intendant of the opera house there. He came along to a pre-performance talk I gave, as well as seeing the show and talking through the technical and casting mountains. So that particular journey continues.

Haili's Chinese journeys are also continuing: she's back for a few days before another trip into self-discovery. She's sent me some images of Tibet - herself in front of Everest, and pilgrims wandering through the villages twirling their prayer wheels. She's also sent a contract from the Yue company. It's all fairly straightforward - although the spectre of the censor hangs over it, as over so much else on this project. The phrase used is that the play "should not work against the Legislation of the People's Republic of China". I can't imagine it will - but not being an expert in Chinese law, it makes the whole thing feel a bit daunting, especially since SYT claims the right to stop rehearsals if we go out of line on this one. They probably have to be seen to be cautious, as a government-funded organisation. Still - it's an insight a week into the workings of China.

Our own government funding is positive news too. We got the funds we asked for from the Arts Council (in fact they added a little extra because they thought we should put in a bigger contingency). Visiting Arts are postponing decisions till they sort things out with their own funders; but the Arts Council injection is the big boost we need, so we move ahead with the marketing. Simon is looking at potential photographers, and is madly doctoring my much-too-arty copy. The ChineseIbsenn appears not to be coming to Riverside (I'm quite relieved), so we're back with our three-week run in September. Though still no final contract.

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