Into a family of eight daughters a son is born – the Ninth Child. The child is clearly a boy of outstanding intelligence. Sacrifices are made for him. He is nurtured to achieve the honour of academic success. As so often happens his heart is elsewhere and he turns his back on his family’s ambitions, choosing instead to take up the dying art of puppetry.
Using a multitude of art forms including traditional Hokkien glove puppetry, shadow puppetry, Chinese Opera and martial arts, Lao Jiu brings to life the clash of East and West cultures, the merging of the old and the new and the breakdown of the family unit.
In this powerful and emotive work, Singapore’s best-known company, TheatreWorks, explores the issues of power play, psychological pressure, guilt and the choice between family and destiny. It is a spectacular production embracing a large cast of actors, puppeteers and musicians and has justifiably received wide acclaim throughout Asia. Lao Jiu is a play which strikes many parallels in Australian society.
Presented as part of the Festival of Perth 1994.