Review: ★★★ Soul Of Shaolin, Troubador Theatre Wembley Park

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.

Abi Standing
Abi Standing

Abi Standing is a graduate from the MA Text & Performance course taught jointly by RADA and Birkbeck, where she studied theatre making and how to compromise with people. Despite so far only tracing her roots back to the North of England, she continues to hold out hope for some distant Italian ancestry which she feels would make her more interesting and explain her love of red wine, cheese, art and passionate arguments. Should her attempts to prove this fail, she plans on using her Portuguese husband to procure European citizenship in the event that Brexit surprises everyone and actually happens. In her spare time, as well as watching and making theatre, she loves travelling, playing netball badly and wishing Alex Ferguson had never retired.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *