THE RED COURT
The Red Court 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 is based on the story of Bo Xilai and his wife Gu Kailai, who was found guilty of murdering her British lover.
The Red Court 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, 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 2017. It was also performed at the Bath Fringe Festival and toured to Clifton Library in Bristol. The Red Court was 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.
Reviews of The Red Court:
“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:
‘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!’
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):