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stage
THE SHAOLIN WHEEL OF LIFE
St. David’s Hall, Cardiff
Thu 0 Oct
A unique combination of Kung Fu and Chinese legend replaces chorus lines and dancing troupes at St David’s Hall as part
of The Shaolin Wheel Of Life, coming to the venue at the end of October. Featuring ordained Soldier Monks of the Shaolin
Temple demonstrating their physical skills and the intense discipline behind this ancient martial art, the Wheel Of Life
promises a colourful and dramatic insight into a fascinating aspect of Chinese culture.
The show tells the story behind the Monks’ struggle to establish and defend the Shaolin Temple. Invited by the Emperor
to his palace, the Monks perform a demonstration of their skills which leads the Emperor to request their assistance in
protecting the palace from invaders. The ensuing battle ends in victory for the Monks and the Emperor asks them to serve
him permanently as defenders of his court. However, the Monks’ refusal enrages the Emperor and he launches an attack on
them. From the devastation of the combat, five surviving children emerge and the rest of the show documents their continu-
ing quest to extend the peaceful message of Zen Buddhism and their Kung Fu heritage across the land. The show features
nerve-shattering feats of strength, with performers being lifted up on sharpened spears, breaking bricks on their heads and
flying through the air Crouching Tiger-style in a series of jaw-dropping gymnastic moves.
The history of the Shaolin Monks is just as evocative as the show itself. Shaolin Kung Fu has been taught and learnt by
the Monks in the Henan Province of China for over 1500 years, developing into a highly sophisticated defence mechanism
utilised to defend their temples and emperors against attack. Combined with their otherwise peaceful lifestyle and medita-
tive practices, the martial art is synonymous with the quiet strength and religion the Monks live by.
This show has been authorised by the first abbot of the Temple, the Venerable Shi Yong Xin and the Henan Provincial Gov-
ernment – rare commendations which bode well for a polished and inspirational performance. The show is only in Cardiff
for one night, so book early for this Eastern treat. Tickets: £16-£25. Info: 029 2087 8444 / www.shaolinwheeloflife.com
MEGAN CAMPBELL
ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN JENUFA PUPPETRY OF THE PENIS BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS
ANARCHIST
Wales Millennium Centre , Cardiff Bay Swansea Grand Theatre St David’s Hall, Cardiff
The Riverfront, Newport
Weds 8 & Fri 10 Oct Tues 7 Oct Wed 29 Oct
Tues 21&Wed 22 Oct
This October will see the Welsh National Just in case the title has you wondering, Miles Copeland III has Riverdance and
After its first satirical display of human
Opera staging Leoš Janácek’s Jenufa at this show is not a witty post-feminist the Royal Ballet clearly in his sights.
mishap and police dissimulation in the
the Millennium Centre; the scheduled take on centuries of relationships Bellydance Superstars, the only full-time
1970s, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist has
brace of performances providing fans between the genders. It is literally professional troupe in the world, has
grown to become as much of a contemporary
of Eastern European despair with the two naked men, on a stage, in front of performed almost 500 concerts in 18
masterpiece as it was when it was first
chance to indulge in some musical hundreds of people, being the puppet countries to one million people, includ-
released into the public domain.
misery. masters of their own penises. ing rock festivals Lollapalooza and
Created by the esteemed, Nobel prize-winning
The third opera completed by the Czech World famous for dicking around Glastonbury.
Italian dramatist, Dario Fo, the play offers
composer, Jenufa was first staged (groan), Simon Morely and David Friend A massive business venture, originally
sharp, quirky dialogue within the boundaries
at the National Theatre in Prague in have had audiences all over the globe Miles himself was hastily selling t-shirts
of worryingly gratifying entertainment.
1916 – thirteen years after the same replacing ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ with ‘OWs’ from a temporary stall at shows. Now
Acclaimed as his most popular play outside
organisation had initially rejected it and ‘ARGHs’ through their special brand they offer four-day training courses in a
of Italy, Accidental Death Of An Anarchist
– bringing the most belated of fame to of genital origami. A few tugs here, a Chateau on the Dordogne, and Copeland
sprung from the loins of real-time happenings
the sexagenarian Janácek. It chronicles twist or two there, and before your very is the biggest distributor of Arabic music
in Milan in 1969, when Giuseppe Pinelli
the travails of the titular Jenufa as eyes, the modest wang is contorted into in the US.
mysteriously died outside a police station
she struggles with the implications of a fleshy hamburger or the Loch Ness The son of US. Intelligence officers (his
while being held in custody. Littered with
an illegitimate pregnancy; the three Monster. father allegedly arranged a coup in Syr-
determined diatribes, the production
acts depicting the family turmoil, dark Willy-fiddling is nothing ground ia), Copeland has managed punk bands
highlights Fo’s suspicions of Italy’s scabrous
secrets, tragedy, and eventual redemption breaking; we’ve all seen babies and as well as Sting, and now pursues his
methods of law enforcement.
which results from this scenario. toddlers in fits of hysterics when they ‘roots’ (he grew up in the middle east) as
This hilarious new adaptation by Deborah
Janácek is regularly acclaimed for the discover their winkies for the first time, the Svengali behind this extravaganza.
McAndrews places events against the
quality and originality of his librettos, but but when two Australian men do it for a Billing it “the most socially significant
contemporary backdrop of Northern
he is also noted for the tautness of his living, it turns into comedy gold. entertainment that exists”, he says it
England, where a histrionic protagnonist
compositions, with Jenufa not requiring The show has met mixed reviews, but proves Americans can appreciate foreign
unravels the corrupt route to an accused
the kind of royal marine-esque endurance for every Mary Whitehouse there is a culture, and has even spoken to the
terrorist’s curious fate.
levels demanded by many of the most woman experiencing genuine penis envy Pentagon about its diplomatic benefits.
The play will be performed by a six-strong
famous examples of the operatic medium, and a man in quiet awe over the sheer Almost all of the dancers are from the
cast of thespians (Northern Broadsides)
clocking in at a little over two-and-a- potential that hangs between his legs. U.S. and the show includes various influ-
and will contain specially written music
half hours. The WNO’s production stars If you’re not fortunate enough to ences (including Polynesian). Compar-
composed by its director, Conrad Nelson.
soprano Nuccia Focile in the lead role, get front row seats, fear not, a big ing Bellydance to the blues, he says it
Aside from antisocial behavior orders and
with tenor Peter Hoare as suitor Laca and projection screen ensures that you can is “great and vibrant exactly because it
flash tags, here is yet another deterrant
Susan Bickley as matriarch Kostelnicka. benefit from blown up visuals of both moves beyond borders”.
from grafitiing without supervision, and
Jenufa is sung in Czech, with surtitles Johnsons. As for those of you in the Whatever Edward Said might have had to
encouragement of general avoidance of
provided in both English and Welsh, and front, bring protective headgear. say about it, the show’s popularity and
the local cop shop. But beware, North
direction is from Katie Mitchell, while the Tickets: £10.50-£14.50. Info: 01792 positive reviews are undeniable. Whether
Broadsides’ Accidental Death Of An
orchestra is conducted by Sian Edwards. 475715 / www.swanseagrand.co.uk audiences revise any presumptions about
Anarchist is not so much a political
Tickets: £5-£37.50. Info: 08700 402000/ (RB) the Middle East though, remains to be
statement than a zany ‘who dunnit?’.
www.wmc.org.uk (PM) seen.
Tickets: £6-£14. Info: 01633 656757 /
Tickets: £16. Info: 029 2087 8444 / www.
www.newport.gov.uk/riverfront (SJ)
stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk (RG)
BUZZ 42
OCTOBER2008.indd 42 25/9/08 3:24:33 pm
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