Red Dragonfly

Depiction of a red dragonfly with a rainbow following it heading towards a light

Principal Investigaor: Mat Dimmock

Opening out early English depictions of China: this project focuses on the first substantial depiction of Chinese history on the English stage, Elkanah Settle's The Conquest of China by the Tartars (1675). Working closely with Red Dragonfly, through a series of initial workshops the team closely examined this largely forgotten play, which is concerned with the replacement of the Ming dynasty by the Qing earlier in the seventeenth century.  They then began to read it alongside other European depictions of this epochal event as well as Chinese historical and operatic dramatisations, with a view to creating a new dramatic piece that would open up the original in innovative ways for twenty-first century audiences. Although the project was heavily Covid-disrupted, work is still firmly underway and have enlisted some scholars with expertise in the Chinese material in recent weeks. If further funding allows, Red Dragonfly plan to workshop their new material in the Brighton Festival in 2022.  

For more details on the project contact Mat Dimmock.