Later this month, Polyglot Theatre will be returning to China for its second 2019 tour. The company’s popular Play Space performance Ants will be presented at the Xintiandi Festival in Shanghai. This tour marks the Chinese premiere of Ants and demonstrates that the market for participatory theatre for children and their families in the country continues to develop.
First launched in 2016 and presenting its 3rd edition in 2019, Xintiandi Festival is a large-scale arts festival that takes place in diverse site-specific, outdoor and commercial spaces in the heart of Shanghai’s old town. Innovative in both form and content, it is a major cultural event in the city. Xintiandi Festival is curated by ‘Edinburgh Fringe Showcase in China’, an award-winning international curatorial institution, and co-organised by the Publicity Department of Shanghai Huangpu District Committee and Shanghai Xintiandi. The festival successfully combines culture, business and tourism within a popular commercial precinct.
Viv Rosman, Polyglot’s Executive Director, writes about the tour: “Polyglot is delighted to have the opportunity to premiere Ants in China this year. Xintiandi Festival, which has a strong reputation for its innovative, contemporary site-specific program, is the perfect context for Ants, and we’re looking forward to introducing the work to Shanghai children and their families.”
Polyglot has recently returned from a sold-out five week tour in China, where the Art Space for Kids (A.S.K) presented the Polyglot and Papermoon Puppet Theatre co-production of Cerita Anak (Child’s Story) in Hangzhou and Beijing. Over 4,500 people experienced the show and the work attracted considerable media attention. An audience member spoke about it on local television: “When the boat was sinking, I suddenly couldn’t find my son. The cloth blocked my sight. I looked around and found he was helping the boat crew. That moment was a special one that I’d never experienced. At that time, all I was thinking was that no matter what, all the family members should be together.” See the full news story here.
In January of this year, Michael Smith of the Australian Financial Review wrote about the Chinese appetite for Australian theatre for children – you can read this article here.
Ants, Xintiandi Festival, 30 May – 2 June.
Polyglot’s 2019 tours to China are generously supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.