Press Releases

Chinese Theatre Troupe down to Reading – University of Reading

Release Date : 07 February 2007

The University of Reading's Department of Film, Theatre & Television is offering a rare chance to see a Chinese theatre troupe from Beijing on Monday 19th February.

The International Centre for Beijing Opera will perform "Adventures of the Monkey King', a selection of plays from the Chinese Opera repertoire, in the University's Myra McCulloch Theatre. The troupe is on a UK tour to coincide with the arrival of the Chinese New Year – a time when traditional drama is staged more often.

"Adventures of the Monkey King" follows the exploits of the mischievous monkey god who wreaks havoc in heaven. Fortunate audiences will see an innovative performance, remaining close to the traditional style but utilising English alongside Chinese. They will also perform a selection of scenes from classic Beijing Opera plays.

The Troupe has toured internationally to the USA, Malaysia and Singapore. They were invited to perform at Reading by Dr Ashley Thorpe, who teaches a critical option on traditional and modern Chinese theatre.

"I met the leaders of the troupe in Beijing, when studying Beijing Opera at the Chinese Traditional Theatre Academy in 2001, and maintained contact ever since," explained Dr Thorpe. "The troupe consists of some of the most talented graduates from China's best traditional theatre school, so when I heard they were touring the UK I jumped at the chance to invite them to the University.

"That some of the performances will make use of English alongside Chinese, which will help to make the art more accessible to non-Chinese speaking audiences. Theatre troupes from China rarely visit the UK, so to have them perform at Reading is something very special indeed. I urge people to come along and make the most of this wonderful opportunity."

The performance begins at 7.30pm on Monday 19 February at the Myra McCulloch Theatre on the Bulmershe Campus.

Tickets are £10 or £7 concessions and can be reserved by phoning Liz Sylvester on 0118 3788878.

For more information about the event phone Dr Ashley Thorpe on 0118 3785868 or email


For all media enquiries please contact James Barr, Press Assistant, the University of Reading on 0118 378 7388 or email James Barr direct


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