A Midsummer Night's Dreaming Under the Southern Bough

A Midsummer Night's Dreaming Under the Southern Bough           
Presented in English
July-September, 2016

A collaborative project between the University of Leeds (UK) and the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) (Beijing) to celebrate Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu in 2016, the 400th anniversary of the deaths of two legendary playwrights.  The creative team from UIBE performed an adaptation of the magical forest scenes from Shakespeare's play and the team from Leeds performed a contemporary response to Tang Xianzu's _Nanke Ji_. 

“Using Shakespeare's classic tale of love and misunderstanding, traditional Chinese theatre techniques, music, humour and contemporary staging, Beijing's ST@UIBE company examines love, gender politics and the changing role of women in contemporary Chinese society.” (description from the Edinburgh Fringe Programme)          

Company: ST@UIBE (Beijing)
Directed by Li Jun
Performed by students from the University of International Business and Economics

Tour Dates and Locations:
July, University of Leeds, England
August 5-13, 2016, theSpace on Niddry St, Edinburgh, as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe September 15, 2016, Shanghai Theatre Academy
September 19-20, 2016, Beijing, China
September 25, 2016, Fuzhou, China             

Funding and Sponsorship:
Bank of China
China Eastern
Sino-British Fellowship Trust
University of International Business and Economics (Beijing)
University of Leeds                                                    

Critical Piece:
http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2016-09/26/content_26899445.htm (critical piece in China Daily

In the Media and Selected Reviews:

Fest review (3 stars): "a colourful, if uneven, spin on the tale with some clunky gender politics" https://www.festmag.co.uk/theatre/103262-a-midsummer-nights-dreaming-dreaming-under-southern-bough

Edinburgh Spotlight review (3 stars): "Characterisations are delightful, including Demetrius’ sincere devotion and the fire spirit Sensitivity’s Puckish qualities. The comedy of the original is very much in evidence in this adaptation, and fights, characters and the script are all aptly grounded in Shakespeare’s play – with some of his language also employed – showing the strength of the creators and director of the piece. Three poles with stiffened flags, associated with the elemental Spirits, are the only set and move easily to create different parts of the hotel, while costume reflects contemporary as well as traditional China. There is a great deal of fun in this production, which lightly looks at gender politics as well as love, and traditional Chinese theatre techniques mix beautifully with modern ideas, bringing a flavour of nature to this hotel well in keeping with Shakespeare’s original woodland setting. Fine entertainment!"  http://www.edinburghspotlight.com/2016/08/fringe-review-a-midsummer-nights-dreaming/

Three Weeks review (2 stars): "the result of a lovely initiative between the universities of Leeds and UIBE in China... It has innocence and good intentions, but lacks precision and complexity. I had a nice time, certainly, but nothing that got me dreaming." http://www.threeweeksedinburgh.com/article/a-midsummer-nights-dreaming-stuibe/

Programme (Leeds and UIBE).jpg

This entry was compiled by Dr. Susan Bennett and Rowena Hawkins.