Stalker Theatre Company presents
SHANGHAI LADY KILLER
THEATRE COMPANY Founded in 1989, Stalker is Australia’s pre-eminent physical theatre company, and is recognised for its long history of outstanding achievement in the performance and production of innovative, inter-disciplinary, inter-cultural physical and visual theatre. Strongly committed to diversity, inclusion and reconciliation at home and abroad, Stalker has toured its hallmark outdoor and indoor performances and productions across Australia and to Europe, Asia and Latin America. Stalker has contributed to high quality contemporary physical theatre in Australia and internationally across a range of cultural, social and political contexts, regions and nations, and has delivered its work to extraordinarily diverse audiences. Stalker’s challenging new approach to physical performance draws on experimental dance, new circus, martial arts, innovative approaches to dramaturgy, and inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural practices and processes. Its striking physical and visual productions communicate powerfully and imaginatively far beyond the constraints of traditional theatrical contexts. Stalker produces a portfolio of distinct theatre presentations, ranging from small, mobile outdoor to large site specific outdoor work, to more intimate indoor works, and a series of dance dramaturgical workshops. Stalker has also pioneered the export of Australian physical theatre to the world, opening new markets for itself and other companies.
Conceived by Tony Ayres & Rachael Swain Writer Tony Ayres Director Rachael Swain Composer Iain Grandage Designer Stephen Curtis Choreographer Gavin Webber Wushu Trainer & Choreographer Master Alice Dong Pei Lighting Designer Damien Cooper Associate Director Roger Hodgman Sound Designer Kingsley Reeve Wire Stunt Director Keir Beck
Lily Wang Fei Dylan Wales Russell Smith John Wong Anthony Brandon Wong Gina Wong Debora Krizak Chen Luke Ha Physical Performers Adam Davis, Alice Hinde, Andy Minh Trieu, Avan Whaite, Hsin-Ju Chiu, Kathryn Puie, Lincoln Barros, Nathan Kell
STALKER CarriageWorks 245 Wilson St Eveleigh NSW 2015 Australia PO Box 914 Newtown NSW 2042 Australia Phone +61 (0) 2 8571 9125 Fax +61 (0) 2 8571 9121 firstname.lastname@example.org stalker.com.au facebook.com/stalkertheatre
stalker.com.au This project has been assisted by the Australian Government’s Major Festival Initiative, managed by the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, in association with the Confederation of Australian International Arts Festivals, the Brisbane Festival and Melbourne International Arts Festival
stalker.com.au THEATRE COMPANY
SHANGHAI LADY KILLER
This kind of work, done with such poise and power, truly combines what we admire in dancers and athletes. Superlative. The Australian
The story is told deftly: a classic cliched crime novel, with a plot twist that went down an absolute treat with the opening night audience.
Shanghai Lady Killer is a futuristic action musical thriller, morphing together cinematic techniques, martial arts and Stalker’s trademark spectacular physical theatre to plumb the dark depths of the West’s cultural imaginings of the East. Romance and intrigue, fear and desire, revenge and corruption drive a fast-paced plot, brought to the stage in a breathtaking multi-disciplinary performance. Shanghai Lady Killer is a ground-breaking hybrid of Western and Asian pop cultures. Inspired by “Wuxia” Hong Kong sword fighting epics, from the Shaw Brothers films in the 1960s, to Kill Bill and House of Flying Daggers, Shanghai Lady Killer reinterprets the genre for the 21st century Australian stage. Key to the plot is Wuxia’s radical depiction of sword-fighting women, whose dazzling acrobatics and weapon-wielding ferocity matches the men, yet are stereotypically feminine in grace and emotional vulnerability. Simultaneously, Shanghai Lady Killer draws inspiration from Film Noir, the archetypal down-at-heel private detective, the rapacious gangster, the femme fatale, and the genre’s own distinctive filmic vocabulary.
Shanghai Lady Killer proved to be one of the best of the entire festival, its world premiere a huge hit with the audience.
The production is kept alive by superb choreography, spectacular stunts combining acrobatics, trampoline, dance, circus and martial arts, and an inventive set and lighting design.
Sunday Mail (Brisbane)
Curtain Up – Brisbane Theatre Reviews
Add in Stalker’s own breathtaking aerial and ground-based physical theatre in a unique fusion of martial arts, dance, parkour, trampoline and circus – with wire techniques from the martial arts film industry to bring cinema-like fight-and-flight sequences to the live stage, and you have an unprecedented and explosive theatrical experience.
Shanghai Lady Killer is written by award winning Chinese Australian filmmaker, Tony Ayres (Berlin International Film Festival, AFI and Golden Horse Film Festival awards) and directed by Stalker’s Rachael Swain; designed by Stephen Curtis; with an original soundtrack drawing on filmic score and world music composed by Iain Grandage. Directing the fight choreography is Wu Shu master Alice Dong Pei with European influenced contemporary dance created by Gavin Webber (Ultima Vez, ADT). Beijing based martial arts film star Wang-Fei leads a team of specialist performers drawn from the circus, dance and martial arts sectors in Australia and China. The production, designed for touring and for regular proscenium stages, premiered at Brisbane Festival in September 2010.
What an amazing show. It’s as if Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Blade Runner had a baby… and that baby grew up to kick your arse. Baz McAlister, Wordpress
Brisbane Festival 2010 - Justin Nichols (Atmosphere Photography) and Jiefang Wang
Set in Australia 2025, when Chinatown is every capital’s bustling heart and Mandarin the second language, Shanghai Lady Killer tells the story of a mysterious lady assassin, sent from Shanghai to murder a popular Chinese mayor, and the private detective hired to track her down. But a dark secret in the mayor’s past threatens to tear the city apart.