The Red Court, my play set in modern China, won a national competition hosted by
the Confucius Institute at Sheffield University. The play was competing as part of
the Festival of Shakespeare and Tang Xianzu. The prize was to take the play to China.
However, the play is about Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai, who was found guilty
of murdering her British lover. It takes a true scandal of power-grabbing in the
Communist Party, laced with corruption, adultery and murder, and retells the story
as a contemporary Macbeth. It was considered too sensitive for us to perform it in
Shanghai, although I have high hopes that it will be produced there in the future.
The Red Court was performed at the Rondo Theatre in Bath to full houses in March.
It was also performed at Burdall’s Yard as part of the Bath Fringe Festival and toured
to Clifton Library in Bristol. The Red Court is directed by Carolyn Csonka. It was
performed by Michelle Lee, Mayur Bhatt, Sarah Curwen and Christopher Constantine/Ashley
Green, and is a Rapscallion Theatre production.
Trip to Shanghai: the cast and crew of The Red Court went to Shanghai this August.
Do read about our efforts to put on the play there (and have a look at some pics):
“Cleverly entertaining….the Shanghaiese are in for a treat,” (Crysse Morrison Blogspot)
“The cast of only four bring out the labyrinthine plotting, corruption and dirty
tricks vividly, enlivened by the sometimes cheeky commentary from the narrator/fortune
teller, and convincing portrayals of the slimy businessman, the guilt- ridden wife,
and the panicky police chief” (John Christopher Wood, Theatre Bath)
“Highlights [of the Bath Fringe] include The Red Court…. Switching between modern
prose and the irregular metre of Shakespeare’s original text, The Red Court offers
a fascinating concept and interpretation and promises to live up to its national
competition win at the Confucius Institute” (Preview, Scriptmix, Bath Fringe)
Here are some responses from the audience:
Great theatre’. ‘Gripping, fast-paced play. Loved it!’ ‘I loved the way familiar
lines from Macbeth were woven throughout. Best theatre I’ve seen for a long time.’
‘What a brilliant play - so cleverly told by such a small cast. I loved the use
of puppets!’ ‘Brilliant, well conceived, well written and well acted!’