Traverse Theatre, Cambridge Street (venue 15), 031-228 1404. 1.30pm. To Sun. Then 4pm 25-30 Aug then 6.30pm 1-5 Sept.
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Metamorphosing from poisonous crone to star-struck ingenue, Claire Wong vividly embodies the author of China's cultural revolution, Mao's actress wife, Jiang Qing, who was responsible for more than 30,000 deaths. Wong meticulously charts a small-town girl's rise from ambition to megalomania. Henry Ong's script is a sequence of flashbacks from Madame Mao's cell, where she broods pending her trial for crimes against the state. It's well constructed and Wong serves it beautifully, but one can't escape the feeling that there's a bigger story to be told.