City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Luocha Land, C Chambers Street, Review


By Jon Cross - Posted on 08 August 2017

Luocha Land
3
Show details
Venue: 
C Venues - C
Company: 
National Theatre of China
Running time: 
70mins
Production: 
Miao Zhao (director), Weiruo Huang (writer)
Performers: 
Junjun Yang, Xingyang Liu, Yue Wang

A plane plunges into the sea. A sole survivor, along with his suitcase, is washed up on the shore of a mysterious country. But what place is this? And is he still alive, or has he died and gone to hell?

Many are the trials and tribulations that await the troubled survivor as he battles the tormenting demons that inhabit the land, encountering secret guardians and allies as he struggles to make sense of the society into which he has been thrown. If he is to survive, will he have to reject all he has known and become a demon himself, or will the all-conquering power of love redeem him and set him free?

The various battles with demons of all shapes and sizes take up a good deal of the action, and the fixed grimaces of their scary mask-faces contrast powerfully with the wonderfully animated and expressive face of the main character. He is no self-assured hero, but a frightened ordinary mortal desperately trying to find his way through the mayhem.

Sometimes, the detail of the narrative is lost, particularly in the animated verbal exchanges between characters which are, of course, in Chinese. A screen at the back of the stage is sometimes used to show an English title for the scene which follows, or to explain the action more fully, though this is not done consistently. The dramatic significance of some elements, like the repeated loss and recovery of a shoe, remains obscure.

Despite these challenges, this remains an intriguing and very well executed piece of physical theatre with a powerful original soundtrack.

8 -12th August at 17.50