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The Forbidden Phoenix

Gateway Theatre Richmond BC

Gateway Theatre Richmond BC

The Forbidden Phoenix

2011 Opening Night: Friday, April 8 at the Gateway theatre, Richmond BC

The show features a cast of sixteen, and a ten piece orchestra playing both Western and Chinese instruments. This fable begins, as fables do, with a hero. Ours is an unlikely one, a trickster named Sun Wukong (the Monkey King) who leaves his home in China for the West in hopes of finding a better life for his son. There he encounters a greedy man who wants to destroy Gold Mountain, the final bastion of nature, by digging through it to build a railway line. Betrayed by this villain and condemned to a lifetime of separation from his son he finally finds a way home, only to discover that his boy has been turned against him. He must win back his son’s love even if it costs him his life.

“…shows for any audience are rarely as spectacular as this…” —Toronto Sun

Playwright Marty Chan once described The Forbidden Phoenix as “too big; too complicated; the most overambitious project ever”, and doubted it would ever be produced. But there was an important story he felt compelled to tell, so seven years and 38 drafts later, The Forbidden Phoenix takes flight on Gateway Theatre’s Main Stage April 7 – 23, 2011.

Chan and composer Robert Walsh have blended Peking opera, Western musical theatre, comedy, acrobatics, and martial arts into a giant neo‐operatic spectacle that’s been described as “eye-popping”.

The Forbidden Phoenix at the Gateway Theatre Richmond BC

The Forbidden Phoenix at the Gateway Theatre Richmond BC

Artistic & Executive Director Simon Johnston say the play reflects Gateway’s culturally rich neighbourhood. “The show fuses Canadian history with Chinese mythology in a community that is all about a blending of cultures,” he says. “If you’re English, if you’re Chinese, young or old, this show is something you can see and appreciate. As the show’s director, I’ll be blogging about the process of  getting such a big show to the stage at

Tickets online or

Box Office: 604-270-1812

Adult/Senior: $43

Full-time students with valid ID: $27.50

Groups of 10+ Tues – Sat: $39

Special performances:

April. 6th ‐ Dress Rehearsal ‐ 50 seats available: $20

Tea Matinee April 12 ‐ 1pm

Book & Lyrics by Marty Chan

Lyrics, Music & Orchestration by Robert Walsh

In English, with Chinese surtitles

Accent Inns, Proud to be a supporter of the Gateway theatre.