Snow in Midsummer

Based on the Classical Chinese drama

by Guan Hanqing

In one of China's most famous classical dramas, a young widow curses those who execute her for a crime she did not commit

Executed for a murder she did not commit, young widow Dou Yi vows that if she is innocent, snow will fall in midsummer and a catastrophic drought will strike.  

Three years later, a businesswoman visits the parched, locust-plagued town to take over an ailing factory. When her young daughter is tormented by an angry ghost, the new factory owner must expose the injustices Dou Yi suffered before the curse destroys every living thing.

A contemporary re-imagining of one of the most famous Classical Chinese dramas, Snow in Midsummer was the first production in our Chinese Translations Project, a cultural exchange bringing Chinese classics to a modern western audience. It played in the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from 23 February to 25 March 2017.

Playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig and director Justin Audibert (The Jew of Malta, 2015) worked to bring new life into this ancient story, haunted by centuries of retelling.