Sunday, 29 April 2012

Wild Swans

Last night a friend invited me to see the play Wild Swans at the Young Vic based on the worldwide bestseller which has sold 13 million copies in 36 languages. Jung Chang's highly acclaimed family memoir follows the lives of three generations of women in China at the heart of the 20th century. 

Wild Swans at Young Vic (photo:

It is an astonishing human story and insight into life under the Chinese Communist party and this first ever stage version brings together Jung Chang with playwright Alexandra Wood and director Sacha Wares to create an engaging and memorable experience.

This dynamic play is really worth seeing, we can't help but connect with the characters and their enduring strenght facing overwhelming circumstances and unbearable challenges inherent to such an oppressive political regime.

Mao Zedong by Andy Warhol

Different smells, powerful visual effects and changing scenarios stimulate our senses, transporting us into the heart of this amazing story with an incredible vividness.

This play is particularly poignant when we know the situation in China continues to be extremely difficult for all who speak up against the regime such as the blind activist Chen Guangchen.

Lady Dior ad campaign with Shanghai on the background

Today China is an economic power and its influence on the world stage is undeniable as James Kynge acknowledges in his book China Shakes the World: the Rise of a Hungry Nation.

The fashion industry in particular is at its feet, more and more designer brands present their collections in China tailoring to the preferences and high demand of this emerging superpower, not to mention production in general.

Chanel fashion show in Shanghai

In an event at V&A, Angela Missoni recognised many fashion houses manage to make a profit during these economic hard times due to their investment on the Chinese market and here in London luxury sales consultants are often required to speak Mandarin. 

Jung Chang is also the author of Mao: The Unknown Story, the result of more than 10 years of research about his life. Both books are banned in her native country.

Wild Swans
Adapted by Alexandra Wood
Directed by Sacha Wares
Young Vic
13 April - 13 May 2012

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