The Rivers of China

The Rivers of China MRTheatre Works and Don’t Look Away present The Rivers of ChinaAlma De Groen’s tale of possession, transcendence and feminist investigation in an alternative contemporary Melbourne at Theatre Works in a limited season from 21 May 2015.

In 1923, author Katherine Mansfield visits a mystic healer. In the present, a young man wakes in Melbourne to find a world dominated by women. As each struggles to discover their true identity, their separate stories interweave.

Alexandra Aldrich stars as Katherine Mansfield in Alma De Groen’s astonishing feminist investigation into sexual oppression and identity, after appearing in last year’s Eurydice at Red Stitch and Dangerous Liaisons in MTC’s NEON Festival. She has also been seen in Bell Shakespeare’s School For Wives, as well as Salome and Lord of the Flies at at the Malthouse Theatre.

In the 1920s, New Zealand born writer Katherine Mansfield travelled to Fontainebleau, seeking a cure from her tuberculosis from the notorious mystic healer Georgei Gurdjieff. Against this, De Groen sets an alternative contemporary Melbourne, in which women have seized power over men using the ‘Medusa Look’ – an evolutionary leap that over takes men’s physical dominance.

Into this alternate world, a young man has his body and identity reconstructed after a suicide attempt. He wakes as Katherine Mansfield. The same Katherine Mansfield who is being systematically stripped of her identity and creativity at the hands of Gurdjieff in Fontainebleau 90 years earlier. Katherine’s spirit and her illness have been channelled into this sick young man.

This intriguing work will be the fourth by Don’t Look Away, a rising theatre company co-­founded by Phil Rouse, dedicated to producing rarely seen Australian plays. In 18 months they have received a Sydney Theatre Award Nomination and delivered three plays (Rooted, The Great God Mogadon, and The Legend of King O’Malley). Phil will direct The Rivers of China, after also directing the first three productions from Don’t Look Away.

Director: Phil Rouse  Cast: Alexandra Aldrich, Ollie Coleman, James Cook, Kim Denman, Tom Heath, Robert Meldrum, Claudia Tory  Design: Martelle Hunt  Lighting Design: Sian James-Holland  Sound Design: Tom Pitts.

The Rivers of China
Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda
Season: 21 – 30 May 2015
Bookings: (03) 9534 3388 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: The Rivers of China (supplied)