Chess *****

Chess is an ancient Chinese legend performed in a stylised and physical manner by a Taiwanese theatre group new to the Edinburgh Festival.

Telling the tale of two warring generals sparring for the love of a beautiful queen, the cast adopt costume and movement reminiscent of Peking Opera performance, moving gracefully and in exaggerated fashion around the stage.
Costumes are stunning, and the onstage choreography is fluid and visually striking. Performed mostly without dialogue, there is however some English narration provided by an attendant maidservant and the traditional Chinese percussionists who sit at the side of the stage, providing live accompaniment to the unfolding action.
Performances like this are special in that they give a glimpse into another culture and style of theatre that is otherwise hard to find. And when done with such grace, beauty and style as this production, the sense of wonder and magic is complete. Based on this show, I hope the company return again next year, and once again open a door into another time and place for us fortunate enough to step through.
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