The Caucasian Chalk Circle

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  • Heath Ledger Theatre

About the Play

The home of the People shall also be the home of Reason!

 

Black Swan in collaboration with the National Theatre of China present a rare opportunity to see an epic work reinterpreted for the modern day. The Caucasian Chalk Circle (based on an old Chinese fable The Circle of Chalk) is an epic masterpiece and will be presented in a unique ‘Beijing Opera’ style that includes over 80 masks and costumes. 
The play reveals a story about justice – following the peasant girl Grusha, who rescues the Governor’s infant son as she flees across a war-torn country in search of safety. Its central themes of motherhood, ownership and identity are universal to all cultures and a potent reminder as to how we behave as individuals, how we govern and contribute to building a just society.
Directed by Dr Wang Xiaoying with artists from the celebrated National Theatre of China, this international collaboration brings together Chinese and Australian designers and actors in a hallmark production not to be missed! 

Black Swan in collaboration with the National Theatre of China present a rare opportunity to see an epic work reinterpreted for the modern day. The Caucasian Chalk Circle (based on an old Chinese fable The Circle of Chalk), designed in a ‘Beijing Opera’ style with over 60 masks and 80 costumes, will set audiences on a unique theatrical journey. 

This production is at its core a morality tale. In the first half following the story of the peasant girl Grusha, who rescues the Governor’s infant son and flees across a war-torn country in search of safety; and in the second the corruptible, comic and politically incorrect judge Azdak, who devises a scenario to settle the dispute on who is the rightful mother of the child. The plays’ central themes of motherhood, ownership and identity are universal and a potent reminder as to how we behave as individuals, how we govern and contribute to building a just society.

Director Dr Wang Xiaoying brings together Chinese and Australian designers and actors in a hallmark production not to be missed! 

 

Translated by Ralph Manheim

Surtitles in Mandarin

Chinese translation by 张黎 Zhang li 

 

Presented as part of the Winter Arts Festival 2016

 

The programme is available for download here. Please note some images may appear blurry. Programmes are available for purchase from the State Theatre Centre foyers for $5.00.

 

Cast & Creatives

Director

Dr Wang Xiaoying

Writer

Bertolt Brecht

Reviews

★★★★ "A clear and persuasive staging of Brecht’s tale, and rollicking entertainment to boot. It’s a full-to-the-brim vase of gorgeous lead performances, charismatic cameos and ensemble work, and fine designs...This production is the result of much determination, consideration and hard work, but it’s been worth every bit of it." The West Australian

 

"Loved the truly surprising collaboration of Black Swan and the National Theatre of China. It felt like a combination of 'The King and I' meets 'Flight of the Concords' with comedic Aussie undertones from 'The Castle'. If you love theatre or are up for an experience, go see it!" Sara, patrons

 

"Sumptuously visual and aurally rich...quite an exhilarating production." Perth Theatre Reviews

 

"A fascinating production...A rare treat for lovers of theatre, a wonderfully directed show with influences from a variety of traditions. A fabulous opportunity to enjoy one of the world’s most famous plays in a well-considered, expertly finished production." Stage Whispers

 

 

"It has all the hallmarks of an unforgettable theatre experience." The Australian