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Programme Details
Descendants Of The Eunuch Admiral


Key Words

Admiral Zheng He, Asian Avant Garde: Dance and Theatre, Asian Theatre, Berlin House Of World Cultures, Cairo International Festival Of Experimental Performance, Castration, China Maritime History, China Politics, Contemporary Dance, Contemporary Performance, East Asian History, Eunuchs, Festival Of Asian Performing Arts, Hamburg Kammerspiele, Hamburger Kammerspiele Auditorium, Hybridity, International Summer Theatre Festival Hamburg, Ming Dynasty, Political Theatre, Singapore Civil Service, Singapore Politics, Singapore Writing, Traditional And Contemporary Continuum, Transcultural Performance, Transdisciplinary Performance, Trauma,


About

Descendants Of The Eunuch Admiral is inspired by the stories of the legendary eunuch of China, Admiral Zheng He. First staged in Singapore in 1995 for the Festival of Asian Performing Arts, the play was so well-received that it won the Critic’s Choice for Theatre. It then went on to win the Critic’s Choice for Best Acting and International Jury’s Nomination for Best Staging at the Cairo International Festival of Experimental Theatre in 1996.

Written by Singapore’s pioneer playwright Kuo Pao Kun and directed by Ong Keng Sen, Descendants Of The Eunuch Admiral weaves a powerful tale of castration and politics as it tells of ancient Chinese court practices and the legendary eunuch, Admiral Cheng Ho, who was responsible for China’s most extensive maritime expeditions in the 15th century. Parallels are drawn between the power struggles of court eunuchs and modern-day office workers, with the metaphor of castration used to show how much they have sacrificed in order to climb up the corporate ladder.

A transdisciplinary performance, Descendants Of The Eunuch Admiral had the actors perform against a backdrop of computer projections and an eclectic soundtrack, “creating a cohesive assault on the senses that was spell-binding”. Also featuring predominantly in the play is movement that borders on dance, with a particular unforgettable scene that has actors spinning 300 turns on the spot. Together with a spectacular symbolic set consisting of transparent large bowls, “director Ong Keng Sen gives a sensual interpretation to Kuo’s play by fusing theatrical elements of sight and sound with palpable emotions”.



Tags



Location:>
Hamburger Kammerspiele Auditorium, Hamburg, Germany
/
House of World Cultures – Auditorium, Berlin, Germany
/

Date:>
21 – 22 August 1998 (Hamburg)
/
28 – 29 August 1998 (Berlin)
/

People:>
Director: Writer: Set & Light Design: Performers: Production Consultant:
Tay Tong.
Production Director: Stage Manager:
Karen Loh.
Associate Lighting Designer:
Tommy Wong.
Sound Engineer:
Sebastian Song.
Video:
Casey Lim, Matthew Ngui.
General Manager:
Michele Lim.
Collaterals:
Brigitte Carstensen, Ngiam Su Lin, Sharon G M Tan.


Produced or Managed By:>



Printed Matter

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Descendants Of The Eunuch Admiral


Genre:> Asian Theatre
,
Documentary Theatre
,
Performance
,
Theatre
,

Year:> 2020


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