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CHINGLISH – Park Theatre

In Comedy, London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

Chinglish was first staged in on Broadway in 2011, and is set in Guiyang (pop four million). Daniel Cavanaugh, an American who heads a firm of Ohio sign-makers, wants to secure a deal with a local cultural centre, whose public signage has been rendered ridiculous by gross mistranslations into English: “Deformed Man’s Restroom” instead of Disabled Toilet.

YOU FOR ME FOR YOU – Royal Court

In London theatre, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

North Korea is the kind of place that haunts the imagination of the West – and not in a good way. One of the last hardline Communist dictatorships, it is also a country of immense sadness, a landscape of food shortages and human-rights abuses. Yet its regime calls this dismal place the “Best Nation in the World”. To us, it’s a secret world, a strange culture difficult to comprehend, easy to fear. Small wonder that, in American playwright Mia Chung’s 2012 play, two hungry sisters fantasise about leaving it for good.

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A WOLF IN SNAKESKIN SHOES – Tricycle Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

It’s a question of faithfulness. Should an adaptation be faithful to its original source, or can it just take off and roam around like a free spirit? I must say that new versions of classics that stick closely to the original bore me rigid. I mean, if you’re not going to make big changes, why bother? I much prefer adaptations which are imaginative offshoots rather than those which remain slavish growths.