Full casting is announced for the world premiere of Snow in Midsummer, a contemporary re-imagining of Guan Hanqing’s Chinese classic drama by the playwright, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, and directed by Justin Audibert. It runs at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon from 23 February to 25 March 2017, with a press night on 2 March.
Framed for a crime she did not commit, a young girl, Dou Yi, calls upon heaven and earth to prove her innocence and is answered by a snowstorm in midsummer and a devastating drought. Arriving three years later in a town now struggling for survival, a family is drawn into a search for truth, as the ghost of Dou Yi demands revenge on the corrupt system which tried to silence her.
Playing the role of Dou Yi is BAFTA Breakthrough Brit Katie Leung. Her breakout role was Cho Chang in the Harry Potter film series, and she made her on stage debut at The Young Vic Theatre playing Jung Chang in the autobiographical play Wild Swans. Her other theatre credits include The World of Extreme Happiness (National Theatre), The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures (Hampstead Theatre), and You For Me For You (The Royal Court). Leung also starred in Channel 4’s four-part drama series Run as Nu-Ying, the BBC drama, Father Brown, and she also played the lead role of Mei Ashley in the BBC’s two part drama One Child.
Snow in Midsummer is a haunting story of social injustice, originally from 13th century Yuan dynasty China. It has been translated into a literal translation by Gigi Chang and re-imagined into a contemporary play by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig. This production is the first fruit of the RSC’s ongoing Chinese Classics Translations Project, a cultural exchange bringing Chinese classics to a modern Western audience.
Further casting for Snow in Midsummer includes: Jacqueline Chan (Mother Cai), Andrew Koji (Worker Huang/Policeman), Wendy Kweh (Tianyun), Sarah Lam (Madam Wong), Andrew Leung (Rocket Wu), Jonathan Raggett (People’s Liberation Army/Policeman), Richard Rees (People’s Liberation Army/Judge Wu), Colin Ryan (Handsome Zhang), Lucy Sheen (Worker Chen/Policeman), Kevin Shen (People’s Liberation Army/Policeman) and Daniel York (Doctor Lu/Master Zhang). Emily Dao, Zoe Lim and Sophie Wong will share the child role of Fei-Fei.
Snow in Midsummer is directed by Justin Audibert and designed by Lily Arnold with lighting by Anna Watson and sound by Claire Windsor. Music is by Ruth Chan and movement is by Lucy Cullingford. Fights are by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown.