The Brecht parable ‘The Good Person of Szechwan’ is set in China between the wars. It was originally performed in Switzerland with an all German cast playing the Chinese parts. So for this version we wanted to source people from the correct geographical region of the world.
This project kicked off by going to a Chinese restaurant on Parnell Street. Our first recruit came with us that night. A German Korean, on Erasmus in Trinity studying drama. She helped set up meetings to find a cast. They didn’t have to be actors. We were looking for personality and presence. People who had lived and might have a story to tell.
We gathered together three Chinese people – A budding actor who works in a Chinese takeaway, a singer who works for a tech company, a scholar doing a PHD in Trinity on globalization and theatre, and two Mongolian accountants who compete in pole dancing competitions. Five lives were now in the mix. Their stories and observations would provide the ammunition to make the piece as well as scenes from the original play adapted to modern day Parnell Street.
We asked, how did they all wind up in Ireland? What do they make of Irish people? They talked. The loneliness of emigration. Casual to in your face racism. Ambition to reach for the skyscrapers. Family duty over personal freedom. Love lorn Mongolian monks and broken dreams.
In the end it comes down to questions in Brecht’s original- Is it possible to be good and survive and flourish in the world when you have no money? Can we be truly free to choose our own path, or does it always come down to the filthy lucre?
“Love or Money? Don’t ask those stupid questions? We choose money because that’s the thing will get us out of misery. That’s the only thing we can hold real in our hands. Money can save you”.
‘I would rather cry in an BMW than laugh on a bicycle’.
We began to focus in on the journey of Ashley Xie, and her burning desire to work as an actor in Ireland, as she plays the lead Molly Xiu in our adaptation.
She became the beating heart of the show.
The Good Person.
Text by Eugene O’Brien and Gavin Quinn
Directed and Designed by Aedín Cosgrove and Gavin Quinn
Music by Si Schroeder
Performed by Saruul Altantuya, Andrew Bennett, Zolzaya Enkhtuya, Eh-Jae Kim, Xier Luo, Zheyu Wei and Ashley Xie
Dates: 11 – 15 October 2017
Venue: Smock Alley Theatre, Main Space
We’re excited to announce that our award winning production, The Rehearsal, Playing the Dane, has been invited to the prestigious Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China later this month.
There’s something strange in the neighbourhood of contemporary Denmark. Who are you going to call? That is the question. In Pan Pan’s purgatorial presentation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, you the audience are faced with a choice: who is going to be, or not to be, Hamlet? Actors compete to play the title role but as we enter the graveyard world of this icon of individualism can anyone escape playing the Dane? Aren’t we all the main part?
Highly innovative and visually breathtaking, this is an audacious and irreverent riff on Hamlet that does not so much update or deconstruct the play as explode it.
Winner of Best Production and Best Set Design, Irish Times Theatre Awards 2010
And yet in this first act, a precisely choreographed combination of borrowed erudition and
self-generated mayhem (that darling, ungovernable dog) turns Quinn and company’s tribute into something freshly full of grief.
Helen Shaw, Time Out New York
All up, Playing the Dane, is smart and refreshing, imaginative and authoritative. A real delight.
Magnificently stimulating and thought-provoking theatre in an equally devastating setting. Not to be missed.
Emer O’Kelly, Sunday Independent
A serious, searching work… affecting, provocative and stimulating.
Colin Murphy, Irish Independent
Its own academic analysis, an audition for the lead, an audience vote to elect the prince, a school production as the play within the play, and a Great Dane onstage. I had a blast.
Peter Crawley, Irish Times
In a masterstroke a group of school students for whom the play is a set text were brought in for the play-within-the-play and also to paraphrase the gravedigger/ funeral scene. The innovation and cheek were non-stop. â˜… â˜… â˜… â˜…
Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times
Watch the trailer here.
Dates: 18 – 21 October 2017
Great news! We are excited to announce that the Pan Pan International Mentorship will be taking place later this year thanks to a grant from the Arts Council’s Theatre Artist Development Scheme.
Applications will open later this month for theatre makers to take part in the mentorship programme led by German director, Anna-Sophie Mahler. The programme provides participants with a bursary so they can ‘buy time’ to work on early-stage ideas for performance along with a travel support grant to see relevant international work.
Stay tuned – further information about what the mentorship will entail, the dates involved and how to apply will be announced soon.