In a cross-continental collaboration, Ireland's Pan Pan Theatre and Beijing Square Moon Culture Company bring Sun Yue's contemporary Chinese play Fight the Landlord to Arts Centre Melbourne from Thursday 30 August – Saturday 1 September.
In a wryly funny and fast-paced farce, three women dressed in panda suits lament the banality of their lives while playing the card game Dòu Dìzh? or "Fight the Landlord".
The characters, performed by Bai Shuo, Wang Jinglei and writer Sun Yue, test the boundaries of relationships and sanity with wicked humour and bittersweet sentiment. Heralded as a shining example of Chinese Absurdism, the play's protagonists discuss everything from celebrity gossip, rising property prices, love affairs and 3D films.
A popular card game in China, Fight the Landlord grew out of the class struggles during China's Cultural Revolution. Yue, an accomplished journalist in China, uses the card game as a clever allegory for society's continually changing values, which are especially evident in China's rapidly growing cities.
Set around a card table, audiences can choose to be a part of the action and sit in-the-round on the stage only inches from the dueling performers. Regular seating in the Fairfax Studio is also available for the less adventurous.
Established by director Gavin Quinn and Aedín Cosgrove,Pan Pan Theatre is a leading innovator in contemporary Irish theatre. The company toured Australia last year with their acclaimed Melbourne Festival show The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane. Pan Pan is committed to presenting performances nationally and internationally and developing links for co-productions and collaborations.
This ethos sparked a creative exchange with independent theatre company Beijing Square Moon Culture in China, who will be making their Australian debut in 2012. The company tours Fight the Landlord to the Brisbane Festival on Saturday 18 – Sunday 19 August before its Melbourne premiere.
Fight the Landlord is made possible through the generous support of the Kenneth Myer Asian Theatre Series Endowment Fund. This endowment allows Arts Centre Melbourne to bring outstanding contemporary performances from across Asia to Australian shores, includingThe Continuum: Beyond the Killing Fields (Cambodia/Singapore), Five Days in March (Japan) and A Midsummer Night's Dream by Yohangza Theatre Company(Korea).
Fight the Landlord will play Arts Centre Melbourne's Fairfax Studio, 7.30pm, Thursday 30 August – Saturday 1 September. Tickets are $20-25.
For more information, visit artscentremelbourne.com.au or phone 1300 182 183.