Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dragon Lady - Being Anna May Wong ***

After a narrow escape where we started off in the wrong venue about to watch a comedy show about Shakespeare, we made it to Dragon Lady by the skin of our teeth.

In this show, Alice Lee plays Anna May Wong, a Chinese movie star who featured in Hollywood films in the 20s and 30s. During this one-woman performance, we learn of the challenges and inherent racism in the movie business at the time, with Wong forever being cast as the 'exotic' vamp or villain, and never allowed a happy ending.

Lee portrays Wong well, and we journey with her through her initial excitement and optimism through her frustration and spiral into alcoholism and loneliness. A thought-provoking and accomplished piece of theatre, Dragon Lady only suffers from having a rather abrupt ending, leaving those of us unfamiliar with Wong's life keen to find out more. But I suppose that's what Wikipedia's for...

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