Sunday 04th December

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Katie Leung (Sunny) and company The World of Extreme Happiness c. Richard H Smith
Katie Leung (Sunny) and company, The World of Extreme Happiness c. Richard H Smith

The World of Extreme Happiness at The Shed

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s play The World of Extreme Happiness mixed toilet humour, upbeat techno music and neon lighting to transport the audience in the Shed at the National Theatre to a toy factory in urban China. In this environment, the dreams of China’s youth soon flicker and die out altogether. Michael Longhurst’s portrayal of dire working conditions, corruption and police brutality puts my post-graduation career indecision firmly into perspective.

The play follows Sunny (Katie Leung) who is dissatisfied by her dull, stifled life in rural China. After traveling to the city she finds work as a cleaner, where she hits an equally impenetrable glass ceiling in her attempts at promotion. She is told to keep her aspirations low and her expectations even lower.

Ming Ming (Vera Chok) takes Sunny along to self-improvement classes where they learn exactly how smiling, shaking hands and speaking in a very deep voice will boost success. Chok’s frantic positive energy suits the role well, convincing us that she really does work a twelve-hour shift before going to class.

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Category: Theatre