Bold bi-lingual musical Cho Cho set for Sydney and Melbourne

The National Theatre of China and PlayKing Productions have announced Sydney and Melbourne seasons of their award winning Chinese-Australian production Cho Cho, comprising six performances at The Concourse Theatre, Chatswood from September 24-28 then at the Arts Centre Melbourne from 2-6 October.

Set in Shanghai and directed by Peter Wilson, Cho Cho stars Scott Irwin andChinese pop star Wang Zheng. It’s an Australian-first: a bilingual musical drama. It premiered at the National Theatre of China in Beijing in January and won the theatre and partnership categories of the Australian Arts in Asia Awards.

It encompasses theatre, music and puppetry and stars Australian musical theatre star Scott Irwin (Hairspray), director Peter Wilson (King Kong), plus Chinese pop star Wang Zheng.

Cho Cho is an updated version of Cho Cho San, Australian writer Daniel Keene’s 1980s reworking of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, exploring the theme of cross cultural misunderstanding leading ultimately to tragedy.

On a midsummer’s night, in a bustling 1930s Shanghai, a young maiden is seen by the river, softly singing a lullaby to the young child she cradles in her arms. Next, we see her at 15, living off a meagre wage and working at a tea house where she was praised for her voice and beauty. It was here where she caught the attention of American Lieutenant Pinkerton, who called her by the name of ‘Butterfly’.

For Melbourne tickets, visit artcentremelbourne.com.au.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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