The Lady of Burma

Written and directed by Richard Shannon
A Red Fighting Peacock production, in association with the Burma Campaign UK
Riverside Studios
(2007)

Aung San Suu Kyi

Could you fight for it without shouting?

For most of us the daily struggle is domestic and mundane, but there are a handful of people who not only believe in justice, but also make great scarifies for their beliefs. Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is one of these people. The Lady Of Burma tells her story.

Suu Kyi is the leader of the National League for Democracy; her party won a landslide victory in 1990 (Burma's first multi-party elections for thirty years), but has never been allowed to govern. As a result of the NLD's popularity, Suu Kyi is imprisoned by the military dictatorship and remains under their arrest over eleven years later.

The audience takes on the role of 'visitor' and 'rally member' as Suu Kyi's wanders through the index of her life, re-enacting the events that led her to prison. Director Richard Shannon juxtaposes the softness of storytelling, with the horrors of human rights abuses, while we are left questioning how Suu Kyi, played with incredible poise by Liana Mau Tan Gould, may remain so calm after the catastrophes she has experienced.

The Lady of Burma does not intend to get your attention by shouting, the events in the play are on the whole understated, so that the subject matter is always the protagonist. Here theatre is used to inform, inspire, and to provoke change, gently forcing you to see freedom as a privilege not experienced by everyone equally.

Reviewer: Lennie Varvarides