Play: Shangri-la

shangri-la
We are partnering with this production of Shangri- la, as the play resonates with a lot of our messages and offers an dynamic insight into the often unintended ramifications of cultural tourism.’ If you are a member and are interested in going to see the play, then contact ‘helen.jennings@tourismconcern.org.uk’ to find how you can get a discount.  

About the play
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?

Shangri-La is not a myth. Shangri-La is a place. The Himalayan foothills of China’s Yunnan Province were officially renamed ‘Shangri-La’ in a successful bid for the tourist dollar.

Bunny, a young Himalayan 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. These desires collide head on in Shangri-La.

Based on her personal experiences, new playwright Amy Ng lays bare the contradictions and private pain of cultural tourism. Shangri-La is Amy Ng’s first full length play. It was developed at the Tricycle Theatre and received a staged reading at Vibrant 2014 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights.

It is directed by acclaimed director Charlotte Westenra.

About the author

Helen Jennings

Helen has studied at the Universities of Goldsmiths, Kent, Jyvaskyla (Finland) and The Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø) where she obtained a MA in Indigenous Studies. She has travelled extensively and has lived and worked in Canada, Scandinavia, and South America. Helen is particularly interested in cultural, indigenous, and spiritual tourism, ideas behind sensible ‘regulation’ and is convinced of the value of ethical and sustainable tourism.

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