“You like your minorities like your pandas – picturesque, cuddly, endangered, helpless. But I refuse to be a panda. I refuse to go extinct. I want to live, to live well, to live like them.”
More than just a new play, Shangri-la is a play that connects to issues rarely discussed but that need to be addressed. It runs at the Finbourough Theatre from 12th July to 5th August.
"Bunny, a young indigenous woman, has witnessed her family’s livelihood destroyed by mass tourism. She dreams of escape — as a globe-trotting photographer. Nelson, her liberal Chinese boss, dreams of a new kind of tourism that's sustainable and enables genuine cultural exchange. Their white Western clients yearn for escape, for the touch of something authentic.........What happens when the only thing you have to sell is your culture? When the only way to free yourself is to betray your roots?"
Does tourism destroy the very culture it seeks to promote ? Shangri-la is written by Amy Ng who has personal experience of the westernmost regions of China and Tibet. A historian by training (Yale and Oxford), she understands the wider issues that impact on societies "opened" to western tourism READ MORE HERE and especially read about the discussion forums that are taking place with the play.