Thinking Chinese: Lady Precious Stream (18 May 2015)
Monday 18th May, 6:30 – 8pm B304-LT1, UCL Cruciform Building, Gower Street
"Try Something Different. Something Really Chinese"
Moongate Productions, Ming-Ai (London) Institute and UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity presented a symposium on the 1934 play, Lady Precious Stream by Hsiung Shih-I (S.I. Hsiung). Something of a phenomenon in its day, Lady Precious Stream was the first ever play in London's West End written and produced by a Chinese, it not only ran extremely successfully there but also on Broadway, going on to become one of the most performed plays in the world.
As Moongate Productions looks to revive this long-neglected play that bridges East and West so successfully, and which has never been performed in the UK with an East Asian cast, this symposium will consider the play in it's historical context linking to the themes of the Thinking Chinese series.
Daniel York (actor, writer, filmmaker) chaired an lively discussion with Dr. Diana Yeh (Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Winchester and author of The Happy Hsiungs: Performing China and the Struggle for Modernity) Dr. Frances Wood (Historian, author of The Lure of China: Writers from Marco Polo to J. G. Ballard), Dr. Ashley Thorpe (Lecturer in Drama & Theatre at Royal Holloway, researcher of Chinese xiqu or Peking Opera), Natasha Betteridge (acclaimed theatre director in the UK and China) on the the Hsiung's relationship with the London "literati" of the time (including GB Shaw and JM Barrie) and considered what are the obstacles to and opportunities for East Asian voices in UK theatre and literature.