Chinese Boxing is an entertaining one-man play with a hard-hitting message about China and ‘The West’, inspired by the siege of the foreign diplomatic quarter in Peking during the Boxer Uprising in 1900 (as seen in the film ‘55 Days at Peking’ with David Niven).
Set in 1912, Sir Claude MacDonald, Her Majesty’s former Minister to Peking and commander of the defence during the Siege, gives an illustrated lecture to the Norwich Royal Asiatic Society. Sir Claude says he will ‘take you back to Peking in 1900’ and he does just that, to the Imperial Palace, where you hear the story from the Chinese point of view while the battle rages outside. It reaches fever pitch and pandemonium breaks out… Sir Claude is absent. Who can guide you to safety and conclude the story? And what does it mean for Britain and China today?
The performance lasts 70 minutes with no interval. It is followed by a Q and A about China and Britain. Mark lived in China for 18 years and has published two books and countless articles about the country.
‘Everyone should watch this.’ Baroness Gillian Shephard
‘A stimulating and original show – I learned tons.’ Jonathan Freedland, Guardian/Radio 4