The World of Extreme Happiness @ The Shed (National Theatre) review

With hopes of brightening up her life prospects in rural China, the aptly named Sunny embarks on a life changing journey to the fast paced, bright lights of the City.

Jpeg 9. Katie Leung (Sunny) and company_The World of Extreme Happiness_c. Richard H Smith (1)

However, the vibrancy of the city fades, as Sunny is faced with the poor working conditions of a worn down Factory. Written by multiple award winning playwright, Frances Ya Chu Cowhig, The World of Extreme Happiness offers an examination into contemporary Chinese culture, as seen through the eyes of the young and ambitious Sunny. Continually faced with a barrage of harsh realities and straight talking characters, Cowhig’s direct and proverbial one liners pull no punches, successfully shining a light on the barriers constantly faced by the younger generation. Michael Longhurst‘s production satirically yet harshly highlights the various themes that feature within the piece, from the issues of class, to gender inequality, the idea of traditional customs versus the ever evolving pace of modern life, to the belief of the past shaping the fortune and destiny of the future. Katie Leung‘s Sunny is endearing yet defiant and is complimented brilliantly by a versatile cast, from Vera Chok‘s unsympathetic portrayal of a member of authority contrasted with a colourful yet heartbreaking portrayal of a fellow factory worker to Junix Inocian‘s straight talking portrayal of the Factory boss, to an Elvis-like portrayal of a motivational speaker. Brought together seamlessly by Chloe Lamford‘s set, the action effortlessly transitions from the dirty wooden cubicles of rural life to the rainbow-lit eccentric characteristics of the city.

Jpeg 12. Katie Leung (Sunny), Vera Chok (Ming Ming), Sarah Lam (Artemis Chang)_The World of Extreme Happiness_c. Richard H Smith

A thought provoking piece of theatre that offers a voice to a generation that usually do not get heard, The World of Extreme Happiness gets a 4/5.

The World of Extreme Happiness is currently showing at The Shed (National Theatre) until the 26th October, for more information, click here…

Written by Theatrefullstop