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DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan

Adapted and Directed by Ross Ericson


Cast: Angelo Paragoso, Arthur Lee, Andrew Wong, Benjamin Lok, Kevin Ta, Siu-See Hung and Michelle Yim


A collaboration with Grist to the Mill Productions:


Taken from the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, and often referred to as the Chinese Macbeth, DiaoChan is a classic tale of lust, jealousy and revenge.

With the great warrior LuBu at his side the tyrant DongZhuo is unassailable, but when both men fall for minister WangYun’s courtesan – DiaoChan – they find themselves a pawn in her dangerous game.

We are very grateful that DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan is supported using public funding by Arts Council England and supported by Unity Theatre Trust.

Beautifully realised, captivating piece of theatre. Don’t miss it.’


High quality theatre and acting, superbly written, original, very relevant and with comedic flair, [this play] is a tremendously enjoyable, exceptional work.

The Upcoming

A breath of fresh air...well-constructed and intoxicating play

Everything Theatre

Political machinations of "Wolf Hall" with an exotic touch of "Shogun"...

A clever and fascinating piece of theatre, performed with great charm and passion.

Craven Herald reviewer, Settle

Intriguing piece of drama… costumes are absolutely fantastic

Love London Love Culture

The great humour, and an enthusiastic, dedicated cast do make it a joy to watch.

Snow Pavilion

A welcome boost to the British East-Asian theatre scene

Ought to be Clowns

An ancient story performed in a modern and accessible format.

The Reviews Hub

An enjoyable and interesting night in the theatre which leaves you knowing a little more about the history and culture of an ancient and fascinating civilisation.’


A satisfying and enjoyable play, ably interpreted by a capable and determined company


 'A fantastic performance... Diaochan was gripping. Bring us more Chinese classics please!'

Executive Director of the

 Confucius Institute UWTSD


'As a way of engaging students and exposing them to Chinese history and literature, or just for an entertaining evening out, this production is a very good starting point

Confucius Institute of Education UCL

DiaoChan Autumn 2015 Tour


Dates: 3th - 4th November 2015

Venue: Studio, Everyman Theatre


Date: 6th November 2015

Venue: Crediton Arts Centre


Date: 13th November 2015

Venue: Brixham Arts Theatre


Date: 7th November 2015

Venue: Market Theatre


Date: 14th November 2015

Venue: St Bart's Theatre

DiaoChan Chinese New Year 2016 Tour


Dates: 5th February 2016

Venue: MGS Theatre


Dates: 6th February 2016

Venue: Lancaster Central Library


Dates: 9th February 2016

Venue: Arts Hall, UWTSD Lampeter Campus


Dates: 10th February 2016

Venue: Penglais School, Aberystwth


Dates: 11th February 2016

Venue: Guildhall Theatre, DerbyLIVE

DiaoChan Spring 2016 Tour


Dates: 2nd March 2016

Venue: Queens Hall Arts Centre,



Dates: 3rd March 2016

Venue: Square Chapel Centre for the Arts


Dates: 4th March 2016

Venue: Victoria Hall


Dates: 5th March 2016

Venue: Cumbernauld Theatre


Dates: 11th March 2016

Venue: Heron Theatre, Milnthorpe


Dates: 12th March 2016

Venue: Seven Arts Centre


Dates: 18th March 2016

Venue: The Cut, Halesworth

North Lincolnshire

Dates: 19th March 2016

Venue: Ropery Hall, The Ropewalk

Northern Ireland

Dates: 31st March - 2nd April 2016

Venue: Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast


Dates: 9th to 28th May 2016

Venue: Above the Arts, Arts Theatre

DiaoChan: Research & Development Feb 2015

We invited local Chinese communities, British venues and theatre professionals to the rehearsed-readings of DiaoChan at Bristol and London. The rehearsed-readings were followed by Q&A sessions with the creatives and audience.


Thursday 12 February 2015

Armada House, Telephone Avenue, Bristol BS1 4 BQ

Room: Cabot Room

Evening: 7.30pm


Sunday 15 February 2015

Arcola Theatre, Studio 2, 24 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL

DiaoChan Rehearsed-Reading: 2.30pm

Red Dragonfly DiaoChan
Red Dragonfly Theatre, Chinese theatre in UK
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