The Poison of Polygamy World Premiere.
Attending the opening of the world premiere last night 11th May, that is a combined effort of the LA Boite theatre, and Sydney Theatre Company co-production is “The Poison of Polygamy”. From beginning to the end is one very powerful play and Brisbane fasten your seatbelts as this will take you by surprise as to quality of story that is written brilliantly by Anchuli Felicia King, based on the novel by Wong Shee Ping and is directed by Courtney Stewart.
The play in itself is quite long around 3 hours but to me it was the best 3 hours of my life spent in such quality theatre and story projection that takes you to a timeless tale of morality murder blackmail betrayal.
It begins with the times of the opium dens of the 19th century China, that takes you to Rugged goldfields of the colonial Australia’ and it is told in voice of character Sleep-Sick played by Shan-Ree Tan who is brilliant.
Sleep-Sick, an ambitious man from Southern China sets out to seek his fortune in Australia. Leaving behind his long-suffering wife Ma, he encounters a beautiful temptation like no other, Tsiu Hei. Sleep-Sick is central to see where he will keep his promises to Ma or are the temptations of wealth, beautiful women, or opium.
Leading Brisbane Actress writer Merlynn Tong plays his first wife Ma who with Kimie Tsukakoshi is second wife are explosive on stage and give such incredible performances that just keeps you engaged throughout this entire stage production. They create such a buzz who expressed to me last night that the roles are divine to play.
Other cast members that are pivotal to this production who all deliver are Hsin-Ju Ely, Silvan Rus, Ray Chong Nee, and Anna Yen,Gareth Yuen. Incredible stage performance of a superb cast.
The stage design is clever as it is all done on a bare stage and props are brought in when needed and again very creative with designer James Lew.
A big applause to the director Courtney Stewart who has no doubt started off the season at La Boite brilliantly for 2023, she has pulled off such a complex intelligent storytelling with cleverness, and Brisbane l expect this to be talk of town, and if you haven’t got a ticket I highly recommend that you don’t miss this as it is one of the best plays I’ve seen and written in a while.
The season began 8th May and goes to 27th of May and tickets please go here.
Duration: Approx. 180 minutes (includes a 20-minute interval)
Content Advisories: Contains depictions of murder (including infanticide), violence, drug use, brief instances of sexual activity, sexual themes, and references to suicide. This production also contains loud noises and the use of theatrical haze / smoke effects.
theatre is air-conditioned, we recommend bringing a jacket.
Review Caroline Russo