New and Now: Plays from China

New and Now: Plays from China Top / Details
Tue 04 Dec - Thu 06 Dec / £10 (£8 conc)

Our first ever programme of plays by Chinese playwrights is a unique opportunity for British audiences to hear from a generation of writers who have grown up in a transforming nation.

The Royal Court’s International Department first began working in China in 2015, travelling the country to discover some of the most exciting new writers. Fifteen young playwrights took part in workshops in Chengdu, Beijing and Wuzhen over a two year period addressing subjects they felt it was urgent to write about in contemporary China.

Now, three of those writers, CHEN Si’an (陈思安), YANG Jingguan (杨静观) and ZHANG Zai (张在), will be working with Royal Court directors and a company of actors over two weeks in London. The plays will be presented as rehearsed readings in English translation.

The voices of three Chinese female writers express with power, humour and originality surprising insights into fascinating and fast changing society.

The Royal Court’s work in China is in partnership with the British Council.

Written by CHEN Si’an (陈思安)
Translated by Jeremy Tiang
Tue 4 Dec, 6.15pm & Wed 5 Dec, 8.15pm

In the depths of a Beijing underpass, a homeless mother struggles to protect her child. A disturbing panorama of the city’s hidden underside, that asks urgent questions about the value of human lives in an urban jungle.

Tues 4 Dec  6.15pm

 Wed 5 Dec  8.15pm


Written by ZHANG Zai(张在)
Translated by Jeremy Tiang
Tue 4 Dec, 8.15pm & Thu 6 Dec, 6.15pm

A young, single woman. An older, married man. A passionate on-again, off-again love affair. The Chinese term ‘little three’ has become shorthand for a national phenomenon – but what human story lies behind that phrase? A funny, erotic and surreal journey into modern Chinese love lives.

Tues 4 Dec  8.15pm

Thu 6 Dec  6.15pm


咸城 (Salt City)
Written by YANG Jingguan (杨静观)
Translated by Sophie Gregg
Wed 5 Dec, 6.15pm & Thu 6 Dec, 8.15pm

A retired clerk searches for meaning in a city he helped create but no longer recognises. Is the appearance of a meteorite the opportunity for local renewal, as his children claim? Or do the answers he seeks lie with a strange young woman he meets outside a corner shop? A poetic dystopian drama packed with the tension between generations that marks Chinese life today. Book Now

Wed 5 Dec  6.15pm

Thu 6 Dec  8.15pm


Thu 6 Dec, 9:30 pm

A discussion about the development of all three plays and the impact of contemporary writing in Chinese Theatre. With playwrights CHEN Si’an (陈思安), YANG Jingguan (杨静观) and ZHANG Zai (张在), chaired by Elyse Dodgson, International Director, Royal Court Theatre. Free with a ticket to any of the readings.

The Site, Royal Court Theatre

Tickets: £10 (£8 conc)

£15 Double bill offer – if booking for two readings in one transaction.

The panel discussion is free with a ticket to any of the readings.

The Royal Court Theatre building is fully accessible. If there is anything we can do to assist your visit please contact Box Office on 020 7565 5000 or [email protected]


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Tue 4 Dec 6.15pm

Thu 6 Dec 8.15pm