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Fanshen - 295 Regent Street

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THEATRE Delicatessen (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) is presenting David Hare’s Fanshen in an abandoned and derelict music workshop behind the smart office facade of Regent Street – from July 1 to August 2, 2008.

Against the backdrop of the Olympics, the struggle for Tibetan independence and the rise of the world’s second superpower, audiences are introduced to the fragmented society of pre-revolutionary China.

Divided into Landlords, Peasants and Hired Labourers as they enter the auditorium, they become part of the struggle of a society on the cusp of revolution. As the ideals of equality and freedom collapse under the weight of corruption and vengeance, Fanshen reveals the dark heart that lies beneath the utopian dream.

Fanshen describes, in an almost documentary style, the lives of a set of inhabitants in a remote, agrarian Chinese village called Long Bow. As the shells of the retreating army fall in the distant hills, the village finds itself at the heart of China Year Zero.

Fanshen, which returns to the London stage for the first time in 30 years, is directed by Roland Smith, whose previous credits include a revival of David Hare’s The Absence of War, for which he received the RSC Buzz Goodbody Award.

For tickets, visit the Theatre Delicatessen website or call 07708740913.