Blogs by Greg Doran


August 20, 2012

It's time to get back to the hotel. As it is not very far away we decide to take one of the little tuk-tuk taxis, known here as hop-hops', for the way they lurch and jerk along like a rabbit trying to escape a fox.

by Greg Doran  |  1 comment  |  Read this entry

'If you like it: it's worth it!'

August 17, 2012

We wander down narrow alleyways jammed with stalls selling mechanical birds singing in cages; the tiny silk embroidered shoes which presumably used to cover the bound feet of Qing dynasty ladies; bronze Buddhas and bamboo chopsticks.

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The Panjianyuan Market

August 16, 2012

One of the students who has been showing us around is Xu ('you can me Sue') Yaning. Xu is a stage designer herself and has promised to show Niki a huge 'antiques' market where she herself always goes to buy props for any show she is doing.

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The Forbidden City

August 6, 2012

When the Jesuit missionary, Fr Matteo Ricci reached Peking on 24 January 1601, he had waited a long time to get here. He had already spent 19 years in China waiting for his opportunity to meet the emperor and gain his approval to preach the gospel.

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The Ding Ling Tombs

August 6, 2012

Having walked up the Spirit Way, we arrive at the Ding Ling tombs. The Wan Li emperor's tomb was excavated back in the 1950s, and today you can visit the mysterious underground palace, buried under a wooded hillside.

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The Valley of the Mings

July 30, 2012

We have travelled some 30 miles north west of Beijing, and are relieved to get out of the heavy smog, and breathe some fresh country air.

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An afternoon at the Shanghai Opera

July 27, 2012

Our 'fixer' in the UK, Professor Ruru Li, of Leeds University, has arranged for us to attend a rehearsal of the Shanghai Opera Company.

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A Week in China

July 24, 2012

Ghosts cannot turn corners, which is why the bridge which crosses to the Huxinting Teahouse in the centre of a little lake in the Yu Bazaar in Shanghai has nine zig-zags. Nine is an especially lucky number in China.

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Old St. Pancras church

April 4, 2011
Old St Pancras church thumbnail

One of the downsides of cross casting is that sometimes, if the other production you are rehearsing opposite calls full company, you can't rehearse anything at all. This afternoon was one such time. So I headed home from Clapham, and decided to make a detour at King's Cross. I wanted to visit St Pancras Old Church behind the railway station. It was here on September 20th 1744 that Lewis Theobald was buried.

by Greg Doran  |  4 comments  |  Read this entry

Prologues and epilogues

March 31, 2011

In rehearsal we laugh at what sort of a prologue and epilogue we would write today, but in a crowded tube train on the Victoria Line on the way home, I find myself pondering the opportunity...

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Teaching Shakespeare