Havant’s arts centre will host ‘Ballad of Mulan’ theatre show about legendary Chinese warrior just before Year of the Tiger begins

WITH Chinese New Year just around the corner, Havant’s arts centre is planning to celebrate the Year of the Tiger by hosting a theatre show about a legendary Chinese warrior.

The theatre show ‘The Ballad of Mulan’ will come to The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre later this month.

British East Asian theatre company Red Dragonfly Productions brings the real story behind the legendary Chinese woman warrior who inspired the Disney films to the Havant venue.

The show is based on the legendary female warrior who disguised herself as a man to join the Chinese emperor’s army.

The Ballad of Mulan

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The production is written by Hampshire-based, Bloomsbury-published playwright Ross Ericson, and performed by British-born Chinese actress Michelle Yim.

Red Dragonfly has been making East-Asian stories accessible to a British and international audience since 2014, before the pandemic left them stranded mid-tour in Australia in 2020.

Yorkshire-born performer and producer Michelle said: ‘It has been a difficult two years for live performances.

‘We've all tried to adapt and survive.

‘But the connection with and the atmosphere of the audience in a live setting is totally different from a digital set up.

‘So we are very excited and grateful to be performing in front of a live audience again.’

Writer Ross Ericson, who was born in Poole, brought up in Ferndown, and is now based in the New Forest, returned to the original text when penning this show.

Drawing inspiration from the sixth century Chinese poem, Ross tried to fill in the gaps to explore the true identity of one of the most revered women in China.

His World War One solo show, entitled ‘The Unknown Soldier’, officially sold out at Edinburgh Fringe 2016 and OffWestEnd award nominated ‘Casualties’ has been published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.

‘The Ballad of Mulan’, which aims to explore the breaking of traditional roles, gender and identity, will march into The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre on Thursday, January 27 at 7:30pm.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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