21 May 2021 - 21 May 2021

Six Artists in Search of a Play


By Cao Yu. Dramaturgy by Amy Ng

Directed By Anthony Lau

Running Time: TBC

production information

Due to rights issues, the reading of Cao Yu's Thunderstorm will no longer take place. Instead, Anthony Lau will direct a semi-staged reading of Rescuing One's Sister in the Wind and Dust, adapted by Amy Ng, based on Zhao Pan'er Rescues a Sister Through Seduction by Guan Hanqing. More info

Line Break

This semi-staged reading will take place at the Almeida, as part of Six Artists in Search of a Play.

Businessman Zhou Puyuan is pressured into choosing duty over love, cruelly abandoning his first wife in order to remarry for wealth and status. Generations of his family are haunted by this choice – his new wife seeks comfort for her loneliness, secret love affairs run amok, and brother is pitted against brother.

First produced in 1935, Thunderstorm was the first play from Cao Yu, a pioneer of the Huaju form of Chinese drama. Originally considered scandalous for its controversial themes and notable for its three central female characters, the play is now regarded as one of the most important works of modern Chinese theatre.

Anthony Lau on why he chose this play: “For me, Thunderstorm was my first introduction to classical Chinese theatre. I was belatedly exploring the plays of my cultural heritage and I marvelled at this knotty family drama, full of twists and turns - that was part melodrama and part examination of class, duty and identity at a time when China itself was wrestling with these ideas in the 1930s. Since then, China has continued to grow more complex and contradictory - with politics, economics, family and the individual colliding and marrying many times over. Thunderstorm is not a one-stop shop for Chinese drama, but written in a time of socio, cultural and political conflict, it captures the mood of the nation and puts it into the hands of two families fighting, serving, living and longing alongside each other.”

Dates & Tickets

£10 (£5 Concessions)

To ensure the Almeida is accessible to as many people as possible we’re offering £5 tickets to anyone who is:
- Aged 30 or under
- A student
- D/deaf or disabled plus their companion
- Aged 65 or over
- Claiming Jobseekers Allowance
- Living or working in Islington (use code ISFIRST to unlock)
A theatre or creative industries worker (use code INDUSTRY to unlock)

Simply select your ticket type when booking, and bring proof of eligibility for your performance.

Digital Recording
This performance will also be filmed and released online at a later date. By attending this performance in-person you are agreeing to potentially being recorded and included in the digital recording of this production.

The release date for the recording will be announced soon. Audio description and closed captions will both be available on the recording.

Additional information

We’ve put in a number of steps to ensure our audiences are safe when visiting the Almeida, including socially distanced seating and flexible ticket exchanges. Find out more about how we’re welcoming audiences back here.

Please note there will be strictly no latecomers for this performance.

Running time TBC. Find out more about our running times here.


Thunderstorm contains themes of suicide and trauma.

Read more here about our production guidance and warnings or email boxoffice@almeida.co.uk if you have specific concerns or questions.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in the production, you can get free support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year from the Samaritans. Visit samaritans.org or call 116 123 for free.

Cast & Creatives

Direction Anthony Lau
By Cao Yu
Dramaturg Amy Ng

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