Anna Chen's theatre page: Taikonaut! How To Save The World, Part One

 

For more pictures, click on photo above


A sharp new black comedy
written and performed by Anna Chen

' I look from pig to man, and from man to pig,
and already it's impossible to tell who'd look better in a bacon sandwich..'

It always gets messy when your ideals blow up in your face.

It's 2012. A stranded Chinese astronaut from Hackney contemplates the twists of fate which brought her from a declining England to a decaying orbit as she works out how to get back home - if home still exists.

Back on Earth, the fight for a better world led her to join The Party. But the the Taikonaut was always a bomb ready to go off, a bomb that the comrades had themselves primed. If only they'd understood what they'd started.

Does the Shenzhou space programme promise a way out of her alienation? Or just a better view?

One of a new generation of political plays, Taikonaut is a dark satire where best intentions lead straight to hell, love of power trumps the power of love, and the dream of a better world slips further away the closer you get.

This groundbreaking cautionary tale follows Anna Chen's acclaimed comic debut, Suzy Wrong - Human Cannon, in which she took a shotgun and a scalpel to the stereotypes of Chinese women. Her midnight-black new comedy of political horrors shows us a totally new angle on the British Chinese experience in the 21st century.


"We stand today ... before the awful proposition: either the triumph of imperialism and the destruction of all culture, and, as in ancient Rome, depopulation, desolation, degeneration, a vast cemetery; or, the victory of socialism."
Rosa Luxemburg -The Junius Pamphlet 1916

"I am not yet born, Oh hear me. Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God come near me"
Louis MacNeice - Prayer Before Birth

"Gooba-gabba, gooba-gabba,
One of us, one of us
"
Tod Browning's Freaks

 

DEVELOPED AT THE BAC
FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCES BAC 18th and 19th FEBRUARY 2006
Two Scratch Nights
BAC (Battersea Arts Centre), Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN
Included as part of the Mayor of London's China in London season 2006

Written and performed by Anna Chen
Early work and BAC scratch performances directed by Jonathan Man
Lighting Design Francis Stevenson
Sound Design Cos Chapman
Original music by Anna Chen with Charles Shaar Murray
Movement Director Kitty Winter
Deputy Stage Manager Mandeep Aujla
For crew biogs, click here

Supported by BAC, Oval House Theatre and the Arts Council

Special thanks to Michael Atavar and Laura McDermott at the BAC

Special thanks to Emma Wee

Pix by Sukey Parnell, not to mention steps into the breach above and beyond the call of duty ...

Taikonaut! Productions would also like to thank: everyone at the BAC. William Ong and The Pearl Foundation, Mukti Jain Campion, Barbara Finch, Roz Kaveney, Adi Tantimedh, Gary Lammin, Paul Hyu, Valerie Chang, Dale Reynolds, Pete Mannheim. Guitars by Charles Shaar Murray, recorded by Cobalt Stargazer. Francis Stevenson would like to thank 'Purple Sheet Lighting'.

 

FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCES BAC 18th and 19th FEBRUARY 2006
Two Scratch Nights
BAC (Battersea Arts Centre), Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN

7.30PM, THURSDAY 8TH JUNE 2006 - PULSE FESTIVAL, NEW WOLSEY STUDIO, IPSWICH

 

PRESS FOR SUZY WRONG - HUMAN CANNON


"Hard hitting and often hilarious ... arresting ... engrossing and provoking."
The Scotsman


"... sensitive, intelligent ... insistent and illuminating."
The Herald


"A charismatic and attractive performer … original, amusing, rude and rousing."
Manchester Evening News

 

FOR MORE REVIEWS FOR SUZY WRONG - HUMAN CANNON, CLICK HERE

PIX OF OVAL HOUSE READING, 9TH MARCH 2005
Slideshow below

 

 

 

 

Eagle Nebula taken by the Hubble telescope (c) Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen (Arizona State University), and NASA. http://www.spaceimages.com

 

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© Anna Chen