Moongate Productions to Present THE FU MANCHU COMPLEX at Ovalhouse, Oct 1-19
The Fu Manchu Complex, a play by Daniel York, will premiere at Ovalhouse 1 - 19 October 2013. Directed by Justin Audibert (Artistic Associate of HighTide and Associate of Told By An Idiot), this new work centres on the eponymous character in Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu novels, the first of which was published 100 years ago in 1913.
Subverting the anti-Chinese views and 'Yellow Peril' stereotype presented in these novels, Daniel York's debut play is a satirical take on British cultural representations of East Asian figures. Five British East Asian actors will 'white up' to play the English characters in the production.
In this surreal and comic melodrama Fu Manchu - an evil Chinese genius with a predilection for cruel methods of torture - hatches a plot to turn the entire Western world 'Chinese' through genetically engineered fungal poisoning. The thoroughly English duo Dr Petrie and Inspector Nayland Smith fight to defend Britain's Empire from this fate.
Battling through clouds of opium, spiffing chaps Dr Petrie and Inspector Nayland Smith must do anything to stop the dastardly plans of evil criminal mastermind Dr Fu Manchu; but will their colonial angst allow them to do away with the villainous genius and save merry old England? And as their blundering leads them to ever more absurd conclusions, we ask, who is the real Fu Manchu?
In conjunction with the play's run at Ovalhouse, a series of discussions on and surrounding this topic will be held in September and October 2013. These include a debate on the current state of British East Asian theatre and its future, and a discussion of literary and filmic representations of 1920s Chinese London.
Daniel York said: "It is now time for East Asians to participate in mainstream UK theatre and therefore mainstream British life. We have opened the door and now we need to keep it open. By busting stereotypes, challenging clichés... and having serious fun in the process."
THE FU MANCHU COMPLEX
Ovalhouse Downstairs, 52-54 Kennington Oval London SE11 5SW
1 - 19 October 2013
Tuesday - Saturday 7.45pm
Press Night: Thursday 3 October, 7.45pm
Box Office: 020 7582 7680
Ticket Prices: £14 full price | £10 Under 26/Equity/BECTU | £8 concessions | Previews on 1 & 2 Oct all tickets £7
Free Related Events at Ovalhouse:
1 - 19 October, Tues-Sat 3-8pm
?? (rén jì) ('tracings of human life')
An exhibition presented in parallel with The Fu Manchu Complex
A long-distance friendship plays out between two people who both grew up in Singapore and live in London but do not meet, corresponding only via their daily posts on their blogs and social media instead.
Sat 5 October 4.30 - 6.30pm
Pre-show public debate
Discussion: What happens after Opening The Door? How do British East Asians now move away from exotic curio and properly integrate into mainstream British Theatre?
Tues 8 October
Post-show live music
Semi-acoustic trio Wondermare do folk rock covers of songs mostly about horses. Sometimes they sing in Mandarin. Mostly they rock.
Other Related Events:
Discussion: The Fu Manchu Complex and the representation of East Asians in the (modern) arts and media
SOAS 27th Sept, 2 - 5pm
Chaired by Dr. Rossella Ferrari, Lecturer in Modern Chinese Culture and Language at S.O.A.S. the panel, consisting of Sir Christopher Frayling (Former Rector at the Royal College Of Art and author of a book on The Yellow Peril for Thames & Hudson), Dr. Amy Ng (Playwright & B.A. and M.A. degree in East Asian Studies and History from Yale University),Dr. Emma Mawdsley (Cambridge University) Dr. Amanda Rogers (Swansea University), Dr, Ashley Thorpe (Royal Holloway) and Dr. Adele Lee (University of Greenwich) will discuss and debate East Asian presence in contemporary UK media and how it is informed by the past.
Discussion: Fu Manchu in London - Lao She, Limehouse, and Yellow Peril in the heart of Empire
University of Westminster 4th Oct, 10am
Chaired by Dr, Anne Witchard who most recently curated the fascinating and diverse series of China In Britain events. The panel also consists of Dr. Julia Lovell (author of The Opium
War), Dr. Ross Forman of Warwick University, acclaimed writer and historian Dr. Robert
Irwin and Anthony Clayton & Phil Baker of Strange Attractor Press who have compiled a forthcoming book around the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first Fu Manchu novel. This event will focus on literary and filmic representations of 1920s Chinese London in light of both the production and the forthcoming release to two brand new translations of the work of acclaimed Chinese author Lao She.