Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Last night, there were suddenly lots of important Chinese people at the show. A journalist from Dim-Sum, who interviewed Ruihong and myself; the publisher William Ong, who also runs the Pearl Awards (to which I've now been invited, tomorrow night), and Xinran, the author of The Good Women of China (a book which has been a huge inspiration to us), and of our web article and programme note.

After the show, Xinran and I faced the audience for another post-show discussion. No ordinary audience either: there were people from Yellow Earth, including the wonderful Veronica Needa who worked with us in Mappa Mundi; there were professors of Chinese from Imperial College; there were former cast members from CSSD - and Nick Williams, our Arts Council officer! So the warmth of Xinran's response was incredibly touching and important for us. She has just got back from a two-month research trip to China, where she has been interviewing older people for her next book, and our themes about the power and weight of Chinese history, about tensions between the generations (especially among women) and the essential role of "truth and reconciliation" in the development of new social orders for the 21st century, all seem incredibly immediate and potent to her. She tells us about shocking poverty she has seen in rural areas, about a family of seven sharing one pair of trousers, about people living on 2p a day; and she says that the "comic" moment when Ruihong in the wheelchair tells Tony's archetypal Westerner "I'm thirsty and hungry" made her weep with its simple truth.

This morning she sends an email, which I'll quote: "Last night I was invited to see and discuss Dis-Orientations, a production about culture crossing in modern Shanghai. It soaked my mind, which was struggling with how to come back to my family and MBL work in West, into an emotional Chinese daughter's, thirsty and hungry I have brought back from CW trip, again,again until NOW.

Go, to see it, with your family, if you are interested in Chinese culture, you have been China, you have Chinese friends in your life, or you are going to touch my historical country.

Dis-Orientations is a green field for your Brain Storm on Young China, it won't push you on a high way to a certain direction which normally other shows do - to guide you, understand what they want you to get: you will feel it and get the different story by your own background and your knowledge of China."

See also the Motherbridge website.

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