Shangri-La is not a myth. Shangri-La is a place. The Himalayan foothills of China’s Yunnan Province were officially renamed ‘Shangri-La’ in a successful bid for the tourist dollar.
Bunny, a young Himalayan woman, has witnessed her family’s livelihood destroyed by mass tourism. She dreams of escape — as a globe-trotting photographer. Nelson, her liberal Chinese boss, dreams of a new kind of tourism that’s sustainable and enables genuine cultural exchange. Their white Western clients yearn for escape, for the touch of something authentic. These desires collide head on in Shangri-La.
What happens when the only thing you have to sell is your culture?
When the only way to free yourself is to betray your roots? Based on her personal experiences, new playwright Amy Ng lays bare the contradictions and private pain of cultural tourism.
Shangri-La is Amy Ng’s first full length play. It was developed at the Tricycle Theatre and received a staged reading at Vibrant 2014 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. It is directed by acclaimed director Charlotte Westenra.
Playwright Amy Ng trained on the Royal Court Theatre’s Critical Mass Programme and the British East Asian Writers’ group supported by The Young Vic. Short plays include Special Occasions (St. James Theatre and Arcola Theatre) and A Little Night Music (Bread and Roses Theatre and The Space). Staged readings include Acceptance as part of Vibrant 2015 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. Prelude to a Feast won the Oxford University Film Foundation competition for Best Short Screenplay. Amy is also a historian with a research interest in multinational empires, imperial decline, and nationality conflict, and the author of Nationalism and Political Liberty (Oxford University Press)
Part of the Finborough Theatre’s summer season of new writing, the world premiere of a first play by an exciting new playwright, Shangri-La by Amy Ng opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four week limited season on Tuesday, 12 July 2016.
Director: Charlotte Westenra
Producer: Matthew Schmolle