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Pembroke Host ‘SINK' - A Powerful Play Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

15th June 2017

Last week we were delighted to host SINK a short play co-organised by postgraduate student Di Wang (DPhil Oriental Studies, 2015) and students from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). The play, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, was performed on 4th June to a full house in the Pichette Auditorium in Pembroke College.

The play is based on the life story of the great Chinese writer Lao She, who was given the title ‘People’s Artist’, but later received criticism as a reactionary during the Cultural Revolution. Humiliated mentally and physically, tragically the writer committed suicide by drowning himself in Beijing’s Taiping Lake.

Pembroke visiting student Zhuangchen Shan (Modern Languages) commented on the emotionally powerful performance:

‘I was wholly absorbed by the actions on stage the moment I settled into my seat. The scene before my eyes began to mix with personal memories of stories about my grandparents that have been passed down in the family in whispers and sometimes unwilling revelation. I could barely hold back my tears. The terrible abuse of rhetorical power which exposes the fallibility human nature, as shown in Sink, is again rampant and relevant today world-wide.’

The production necessitated a concerted effort across College departments. Di Wang expressed her gratitude to all those who have supported the play, she commented:  

‘We've received generous support from our MCR, Tom Parfitt from the Conferences and Events team and Charlie Harris, Tim Walker and Malcolm Davis from the Maintenance Department helped us late into Saturday evening. None of this would have happened without everyone's help and the Annual Fund's support!’

This event was supported by the Pembroke Annual Fund, which continues to grow and plays an essential role at Pembroke, guaranteeing that students enjoy not only an excellent academic experience but also many of the added extras that make College life here so special.