The Golden Dragon is a co-production by Actors Touring Company (ATC) and the Drum Theatre. After a premiere in Plymouth, it opened to great acclaim at the Traverse Theatre as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2011. The production was also an Official Recommendation as part of our Edinburgh Showcase in the same year.
As a direct result of the Showcase, the company took The Golden Dragon on a very successful three-week tour of India in January 2012 with our support. This was followed by an invite to present The Golden Dragon at the Kurdistan International Theatre Festival in March 2012, with performances in Sulaymaniyah and Erbil, also supported by us.
The Golden Dragon is a tragicomic fable set in a local takeaway. Fusing Brechtian distance with a heartfelt story of two young people being a long way from home, this an important and timely contribution to the debate on migration, presenting the harsh reality of the experience in stark theatrical form.
Five actors play a variety of characters – a Chinese migrant with toothache, two air stewardesses, the man who keeps the shop next door, a young woman whose boyfriend doesn’t want their baby – which highlights the interconnectedness of their lives in and around The Golden Dragon.
The Golden Dragon is Ramin Gray’s inaugural production as Artistic Director of ATC, following his ten years at the Royal Court Theatre. It is the first English-language production of the finest play to date by Germany’s most important contemporary playwright, Roland Schimmelpfennig.
ATC’s visit to Iraq represented a UK presence at the first Kurdistan International Theatre Festival. As well as performances, there was a creative exchange through a workshop run by Ramin Gray. This year’s international festival was the result of the successful Kurdistan National Theatre Festival in 2011 and marks the revitalisation of theatre and cultural activity in the region.
The play is an innovative choice by the festival programmer Dana Malouf, who felt that the theme of dispossession in a globally interconnected world would have particular resonance with audiences in Kurdistan. "People in Kurdistan who left in the 1980s and '90s are now starting to return and bring their experiences from abroad," says Nick Williams, ATC’s Executive Director. "This show is all about journeying far away for a better life and what that does to a person."
Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan, Iraq2nd Mar 2012 - 3rd Mar 2012
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq4th Mar 2012 - 5th Mar 2012
Mumbai, India10th Jan 2012 - 10th Jan 2012
National Centre for Performing Arts
Delhi, India12th Jan 2012 - 12th Jan 2012
National School of Drama
Bangalore, India13th Jan 2012 - 29th Jan 2012
Kerala, India2nd Feb 2012 - 2nd Feb 2012
International Theatre Festival of Kerala