Soul of Shaolin, showing at the Troubador Theatre Wembley is a visual feast of a show, packed with aesthetic effects and impressive acrobatics. Performed by a troupe direct from Shaolin China, it showcases the ancient art of Shaolin Kung Fu, one of the oldest and most famous of the martial arts.
It follows the story of Hui Guang, separated from his mother as a baby, he is found and raised by Shaolin monks who train him to become a Shaolin master. His mother never loses hope of seeing her son again and tracks him down to the temple where Hui Guang must fight to return home.
The performance is a hugely visual affair, using video to create dramatic backdrops and changing scenery; the story is told without dialogue, through physical theatre, movement and martial arts. Brief summaries of each scene flash up before being acted out so the audience can follow along easily. Indeed, the plot is simple and feels largely like a device to display the skills of the performers – which of course is really the point. There are some amazing feats of gymnastics and physical mastery on show demonstrated by all the troupe, including some very young looking performers.
Those with an interest in martial arts will find it particularly appealing but it is a thoroughly entertaining, heartwarming and at times breathtaking show which can be enjoyed by all the family.