Beijing 3


The team did well on a tough day which started with more plugging and tinkering with the machinery. The bikes are stiff and ergonomically quite tough, they are quiet, which is good, but can only viably run one light at a time. Similarly the local flywheel runs smoothly but generates little power. As a result various scenes had to be replotted for lighting.

As this work finished Charlie turned up to run through the surtitle translations. We did a run for him and discovered three small sections were missing. He was an impressive chap. He knew the meaning of ‘perv’ and ‘mummy’ (in the Egyptian sense), but had to be advised that ‘bits’ can be a colloquial for genitals, that ‘seminal vesical’ is a medical term and that ‘Villa forever’ refers to a football team (he was ‘sick as a parrot’ for not spotting this (Barclay Card)).

The press turned up to take photographs and I did a TV interview. Then it was the show. There was a big audience sitting on three sides but the performers took this in their stride. The show is demanding to perform and with jet-lag, fatigue, new bikes, new auditorium and new audience there were inevitably some small glitches but they did remarkably well and were very well received. We conduced a quick Q&A session after the show before shooting off to get some food.

They eat early in Beijing but we got our foot in the door of a restaurant just before it closed and stayed for a long long time.

3 thoughts on “Beijing 3

  1. WHAOOOO that tall building in the second shot is the CCTV Headquarter by architect Rem Koolhaas… I remember watching a program about how difficult the structure of this building was to engineer… something to do with inverted Ls…. I never thought it was completed…

  2. Saw the show last night, was particularly impressed with innovative use of lighting- quite different from the other two productions on the Ed Fringe bill. Interesting Q&A also, although I would be wary of any mention of capitalism taking hold here, I bet it wasn’t translated!. Good luck with rest of run.

  3. Chris: Oh yes that bit of the CCTV building is certainly up and much like Elton John, still standing. It’s close to our venue. Another portion of the complex caught fire and is still being repaired, I believe it was due to be completed before the Olympics. There are any number of startling building projects around the City Centre and the Foster + Partners designed airport is amazing.

    Lee: Thanks for being there and for your response. Yes, I threw that capitalism thing in there to see what response it provoked. You walk down Wangfujing Dajie and it looks like Manhattan, you cut down a Hutong and it can feel like the old Eastern Europe, a extraordinary mix. I am fascinated by how Communism and conspicuous consumption sit together here.

    I am also interest in whether artistic ideas have the freedom to flourish or whether the conservative fare (visual art wise) we have seen so far is because we are tourists being fed what people think we may buy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *