Drama, music and action in new Mulan

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THE Chinese State Circus can be seen in a spectacular new show based on one of China’s greatest legends at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre from February 17 to 20.

The live action production of Mulan will feature some of China’s finest performers in a fabulous display of acrobatics, Shaolin martial arts, circus skills, and Peking opera set to an original musical score.

Artistic director of the Chinese State Circus, Phillip Gandey, said: “This was one of the most challenging productions so far.

“I spent many weeks travelling throughout China – in search of not only the best acrobats but also auditioning Peking opera artistes, actors and Wushu performers for the acting roles.”

The title role of Mulan is taken by martial arts expert Cao Jing, who is making her first appearance in the UK.

Cao Jing began learning martial arts when she was only six years old, and her 15 years of kung fu training is demonstrated in a dramatic fight sequence with a giant warrior.

Joining Mulan are two of the most colourful characters in Chinese folklore, the Monkey King and his companion Pig, who will guide audiences through the adventure. Based on Chinese legend, the story of Mulan has spread over the world in poems, songs, books and films, but this is the first incarnation in the world of international circus.

The show tells the story of a strong-minded country girl who joined the emperor’s all-male army in place of her father, who was too old to fight. Through her skill and bravery she was promoted to the rank of general without anyone being aware she was a woman.

Highlights of the family show include the body manipulations of the hand-balancer, the rolling repertoire of the hoop divers, the lavish lion dance, and the lightening-fast Shaolin Wushu Warriors.

Performances will be held at 7.30pm on Thursday, February 17; at 5pm and 8pm on Friday, February 18; at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday, February 19; and at 2pm and 5pm on Sunday, February 20. Tickets range from £11 to £28. Contact the box office on 08448 717607 for bookings.