Hsing Legend Theatre’s Wu Song – The Tiger Warrior is a great way to immerse yourself and the whole family in Chinese theatre and literature.
Wu Song – The Tiger Warrior is a tale of a martial artist who rises to fame after defeating a dangerous tiger, and later revenges his brother’s death. Based on a story from the novel Water Margin, considered one of four great classic novels of Chinese literature, this energetic performance transports the audience from the streets of Edinburgh into another culture. Although interesting for anyone to see, children will enjoy Wu Song – The Tiger Warrior the most. A simple story told mostly through movement, including acrobatics and martial arts, is a great way to introduce the youngest theatregoers to the international drama.
In all fairness, the acrobatics and martial arts presented in this show are not breathtaking – but do tell a story in an entirely different way than we’re used to on Western stages. Similarly, although the story may come across as a little basic, there’s pleasure to be found in its simplicity. We’re presented with clearly defined heroes and villains – the story does not aim to make the audience think about difficult topics or experience deep emotions, but instead hopes to entertain them with an action-led, Chinese mythology accompanied by music.
The best part of the show are the episodes featuring physical comedy. Very few props are used throughout Wu Song, and instead, the actors use mime to convey what’s happening. This can lead to heartfelt laughs, especially when combined with the overall exaggerative nature of the old-fashioned heroic story.
The English subtitles that follow the performance are sparse, and don’t take the audience’s concentration away from the stage. Excusing one or two grammatical errors in the Engligh text, the overall use of the subtitles is beautiful and subtle.
Wu Song – The Tiger Warrior is a great way to immerse yourself in Chinese theatre and literature, whether an adult or a child. A great show to take a risk on.