Fringe Review: The Legends of Mountains and Seas

Megan Amato reviews The Legends of Mountains and Seas at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

THE Graduate Institute of Performing Arts of National Taiwan Normal University’s The Legends of Mountains and Seas dramatises the Chinese myth of legendary archer Hou Yi, who was banished to Earth for shooting down nine out of ten suns and his wife Chang’e who would later become the goddess of the Moon.

This myth has had many depictions over the years but, in this version, we see an arrogant and unfaithful Hou Yi resent his banishment to Earth and seek the elixir of immortality behind his wife’s back. Once Chang’e discovers the hidden elixir, she despairs her husband’s intended abandonment and takes it herself thus becoming the “toad” on the Moon.

Performed in English, there may have been a few moments of pitchiness and others where I thought the singers needed to let go a little more to showcase their range of  incredible voices, but otherwise the vocals were beautifully done and moving. The moments of synchronised singing were as stunning as the choreography and creative costume choices.

It’s clear that there is a lot of untapped talent in this group as they gave a dynamic and ambitious performance. The was one thread to the story with Luo River Goddess and her father that I didn’t feel was tied off, but otherwise this was an enthusiastic and well-choreographed performance from a student theatre group that I’m sure Taiwan and beyond will see a lot more of in the future.


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