Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Orphan of Zhao

It was a quiet day here at the Pile. The dogs were walked and the house was tidied.*

Late in the afternoon 30% and I put on our glad rags and took a ride in to Stratford. We took a late afternoon wander around the shops and made a few purchases but our overriding impression was that the town was very quiet for a Post-Christmas Sale Saturday. We also noticed that very few of the goods were enticing and our purchases were definitely necessities rather than impulse buys.

We loitered until six o'clock and then popped in to a local pasta restaurant for an early supper as this evening we had front row seats at The Swan Theatre for The Orphan of Zhao ...

... "no, I'd never heard of it either", but it was a Christmas present from 30% and it was an absolute cracker. It is a Chinese play that has it's origins over 2,500 years ago and was the first Chinese play ever translated in to a European language; French in the 1730's.** It is a long time since I have last been to the theatre and I had forgotten how much I enjoy the simplicity of it's story telling and how so much can be portrayed with so little in the way of back drops and props. The Orphan is sometimes referred to as The Chinese Hamlet and  I could see the similarities to some of Shakepseare's works and there was even a Hamlet in-joke during General Tu Angu's first speech.

It was a fantastic evening and a refreshing change from the recent entertainment fodder of recycled TV Christmas Specials and repeat showings of films. A most definite 10/10.
* a little!
** I didn't know this until I looked it up on Wikipedia afterwards

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