CHINA’S GREATEST LOVE STORY
COMING TO THE WEST END
This is a highlight of our forthcoming theme (in
development) giving a sense of balance between
East (Erhu) and West (Piano).
"You're My Kingdom"
(Piano & Erhu):
Erhu: Wang Xiao Piano: Mark Troop Arrangement: Mark Troop
of the Night” (Emperor, Prince)
Note: This song is a developmental sample,
and will have new lyrics and will be a duet only
between the Emperor and the Prince.
At the deserted Huaqing Palace the poet Li Bai
recounts to three peasants the tragic story of
the Emperor and the Lady Yang.
Purpose of scene: to provide back
story / exposition Scene 1
Visiting vassals and emissaries pay homage
to the Emperor’s long and illustrious reign.
Lishi and Li Bai are uneasy about the arrival of
the Emperor’s sons, the Crown Prince Heng and
Prince Shou. The Emperor humiliates Shou by
awarding a governor’s post to Heng, having
previously promised it to Shou. Shou’s mild
protests reveals him as somewhat submissive, and
although he proclaims he will prove himself to
his father, we immediately see his lack of
conviction as he drowns his sorrows with Li Bai.
Purpose of scene: To establish that Shou is
initially a weak character
Shou faces further humiliation from Lady
Yang, his wife, when she hears the news and
criticises him for failing to stand up to his
father. She has little confidence in him. Shou
vows he will change and earn everyone’s respect.
Lady Yang brightens up Shou’s mood with a
sensual dance but, unseen, the Emperor is
watching and becomes besotted with Lady Yang. He
decides he must have her for himself.
Purpose of scene: To emphasise Shou’s weakness
but also to reveal the beginnings of a fighting
spirit in the promises he makes to Lady Yang.
The moment when the Emperor’s infatuation with
Lady Yang is revealed establishes the Emperor as
Shou’s first antagonist
At Huaqing Palace the Emperor puts his plan
into action, sending Shou back to the capital to
order the execution of disgraced barbarian
soldier An Lushan. Free to indulge himself with
Lady Yang, the Emperor is mesmerised as she
bathes in the hot springs. He casually casts
aside his previous favourite, the Lady Plum
Blossom. Not only has Shou’s father shunned him
for the Governor’s post, but now he plans to
steal his wife.
Purpose of scene: To deepen Shou’s misfortune
and to increase the conflict between father and
Shou is supposed to confirm An Lushan’s
death sentence. But the barbarian is both an
intimidating presence and adept at
self-preservation. He argues that he is still
the best soldier to defeat China’s enemies. Li
Bai arrives and tells Shou what has happened At
Huaqing. The enraged Shou disobeys his father’s
order and frees An. This impulsive decision will
put both his and Lady Yang’s life in jeopardy
further down the line.
Purpose of scene: To show that Shou
has still to acquire the qualities required to
become a leader.
In the Emperor’s bedchamber Lady Yang fights
to preserve her honour. The exasperated Emperor
threatens to have Shou executed if she doesn’t
submit to him. When he leaves her to consider
her options, Lady Yang begins to realise that
she can use the Emperor’s infatuation to her
Purpose of scene: To show the
Emperor’s determination to have Lady Yang for
himself at all costs, increasing the odds
against Shou reclaiming her.
With Lady Yang on the verge of being crowned
Empress, the Emperor’s old and trusted friend
Lishi tries to warn the Emperor that by
neglecting his duties to the state, he is losing
control and making enemies.
Purpose of scene: To establish that the
Emperor’s obsession with Lady Yang could lead to
him losing control of the empire.
Outside the palace Lady Yang is unveiled as
the new Empress. Shou boldly confronts his
father and unleashes his pent up anger and
frustration. His father orders his arrest, but
Shou escapes. The Emperor offers a large reward
for his capture.
Purpose of scene: To portray the first
signs of growth in Shou as a man of action.
Lady Yang hears the Emperor wrestling with
his conscience over his duty to the state and
his love for her. He unveils a stunning portrait
of Lady Yang and she is touched and unable to
resist the Emperor’s advances any longer.
Afterwards she is consumed with regret but also
worries that she will soon be cast aside.
Purpose of scene: To show a
deepening of the relationship between the
Emperor and Lady Yang, adding a further
complication to Shou’s plan to win her back.
Li Bai holds court in a tavern. His audience
learn that Lady Yang is unhappy because people
are beginning to despise the Yang family,
particularly her corrupt cousin, who has become
Chief Minister. He has increased taxes to
feather his own nest. Outside the Tavern the
Yang carriage is surrounded by a mob. Shou
(disguised as a peasant) rescues Lady Yang
before disappearing into the crowd. Meanwhile An
Lushan saves the Chief Minister from a lynching.
Far from being grateful, the Chief Minister
accuses him of rebellious intentions. In the
tavern Li Bai tells Shou his brother has been
summonsed to the palace. Shou decides to ask
Heng to help him get Lady Yang to safety
Purpose of scene: To show that,
despite increasing obstacles to Shou’s quest,
his character is strengthening - evidenced by
the actions he takes.
Realising his position has weakened, the
Emperor gives Heng a list of his enemies and
orders him to round them up. Shou finds Heng and
asks him for help, but he refuses and reveals
that Shou’s name is on the list. Shou is furious
at Heng for choosing to protect his own position
rather than help his own brother and a fight
ensues. Shou is defeated, but Heng spares him
Purpose of scene: To escalate the
conflict and increase the odds against Shou
An Lushan rallies his barbarian army. The
Emperor is losing control and the time is right
to rebel. Shou’s earlier decision to spare An
Lushan is having dire consequences.
Purpose of scene: To identify a new
antagonist for Shou to overcome against a
deteriorating political situation.
Lady Plum Blossom visits the Emperor. She
has heard that he has imprisoned many of his
ministers and that Lady Yang has to stay in the
palace for her own safety. The Emperor reacts
petulantly, which only emphasises his detachment
from the reality of the situation. Later, as
Lady Yang walks through the Imperial Gardens,
Shou appears and tries to persuade her to leave
with him. Lady Yang says that it is not so easy
to abandon her duty as Empress. Shou tells her
that the choice is between being Empress and
living an honest life. He has to make a quick
exit without her when guards hunt for the
“intruder.” We learn of the Emperor’s increasing
Purpose of scene: To show Shou’s
strengthening resolve to be re-united with the
woman he loves
The Emperor and Lady Yang argue after the
Emperor discovers it was Shou in the gardens. He
orders Heng to go to Li Bai’s house, where Shou
has been hiding, and bring him back to the
palace dead or alive in return for the million
in cash reward. An Lushan arrives, having been
summoned by the Emperor amid rumours that he is
going to rebel. Convincing the Emperor of his
undying loyalty, An Lushan departs, hoping to
profit from what he has just overheard about
Purpose of scene: To escalate the
threats to Shou’s life
An Lushan arrives at Li Bai’s house before
Heng. He intends to execute Shou and claim the
reward. But as he is about to deliver the fatal
blow Heng arrives and is mortally wounded in the
ensuing fight with An. He lives long enough to
wound the barbarian and save Shou, who promises
to avenge his death and put down the rebellion
Purpose of scene: To create a major
crisis and turning point for Shou, who must now
show his true character and try and save both
his country and Lady Yang.
The peasants panic when they see an ominous
red glow in the sky, believing the rebels are
near. Li Bai continues the story.
Purpose of scene: To build tension
and establish that Shou is running out of time.
Scenes of panic as the barbarian army sweeps
across the country, ruthlessly cutting down
anything and anyone that gets in their way. Lady
Plum Blossom is captured by three barbarians but
is saved by Shou, who dispatches them with
ruthless skill. Lady Plum Blossom insists on
helping him find Lady Yang.
Purpose of scene: to show the power
of the barbarian army and Shou’s continuing
transition from a weak, inactive character to
man of action and courage.
The Emperor and the Yangs can only watch as
an angry crowd gathers outside the palace. The
barbarians are overwhelming the Chinese army.
Purpose of scene: To emphasise the
Emperor’s loss of control and the increasing
danger to Lady Yang.
The measure of the Emperor’s desperation is
personified by Li Bai’s undignified removal from
the palace after writing a critical poem.
Disgruntled ministers and generals unite with
angry citizens as An Lushan grows ever nearer to
the capital. The Emperor’s attempt to calm the
crowd fails miserably and he faces a revolt from
his own ministers and generals.
Purpose of scene: To intensify the
political and military crisis, further
increasing the odds against Shou
First the Emperor tries to reassure Lady
Yang that all will be well, presenting her with
gifts and pledging eternal love. Then he blames
the crisis on Shou, saying he should have
executed An Lushan as instructed. Finally he
accuses Shou of weakness in not being there to
“clean up his mess”. “Who will save us now?” he
Purpose of scene: To demonstrate the
Emperor’s powerlessness and unwillingness to
assume responsibility, and his continuing
antagonism towards Shou
Shou tries to rally a group of demoralised
soldiers to join him in defeating the rebels. He
picks up a tattered flag and urges them to
fight. None will risk their lives for the
Emperor. As Shou sets off alone, a young boy
joins him, and is followed by three of the
soldiers, who are moved by the boys bravery
Purpose of scene: To display Shou’s
emerging leadership qualities and show that he
is prepared to act alone if necessary
A triumphant An Lushan approaches the gates
of Chang An. He intends to take both the city
and the Lady Yang
Purpose of scene: To pose the question:
Will Shou arrive in time to prevent Lady Yang
falling into An Lushan’s clutches?
The people flee the city as the rebels enter
and An Lushan proclaims a new dynasty. Lady Plum
Blossom tries to persuade Lady Yang to leave,
telling her it’s time to decide between the
Emperor and Shou. Lady Yang refuses to leave
without the Emperor. Shou arrives and tells her
she must leave with him now. She insists that he
take his father too. Shou agrees.
Purpose of scene: To establish Shou
as the hero who will take Lady Yang and the
Emperor to safety.
As the Emperor is being advised to leave the
city immediately, Lady Yang enters and says they
must go with Shou, who has risked his life for
them. But fearing he will lose Lady Yang to Shou,
he orders the guards to arrest him for treason.
Lady Yang protests, but is forced to join the
Emperor’s entourage. Shou fights the guards but
is beaten up and left for dead
Purpose of scene: to underline the
Emperor’s jealousy and selfishness which not
only almost costs Shou his life, but further
jeopardises his chances of being reunited with
An Lushan takes the throne as the Emperor’s
entourage beats an ignominious retreat from the
capital, dodging stones and missiles from the
angry refugees the Emperor has abandoned. Shou
tries to reach the convoy, but is held up by the
crowd. An Lushan is now in control of the
country and Lady Yang is still under the
Purpose of scene: To establish that
Shou will now have to overcome even greater odds
The wounded Lishi tells Shou that the
Imperial Guards protecting the Emperor intend to
rebel and kill Lady Yang and her family. Shou
realises that the moment has arrived when he
needs to face the challenge head on as time for
rescuing the situation finally runs out.
Purpose of scene: Major turning
point in Act 2. Shou now faces his greatest
challenge. This is his defining moment
Shou meets Li Bai on the road, and the poet
warns Shou that the Imperial Guard are a
thousand strong, and he has no chance against
them. But Shou is determined to keep the
promises he made to his brother and Lady Yang
Purpose of scene: to show that Shou has
blossomed into a man of strength and purpose.
Nothing can deflect him from his goal
At Mawei Post Station the Imperial Guard
revolt and slay the Chief Minister and Lady
Yang’s three sisters. They demand Lady Yang’s
head. She realises that, because of her, the
Empire and the Emperor’s life are also in
danger. She prepares to make the ultimate
sacrifice. Shou reaches Mawei and attempts to
fight through the guards. Lady Yang begs him to
stop and says if he wants to give his life he
should do it for China. She makes him promise to
go to Sichuan and raise an army to defeat the
rebels. Lady Yang commits suicide and the
distraught Shou vows to return and punish his
father once he has put down An Lushan and the
Purpose of scene: To set up the
circumstances of Lady Yang’s sacrifice. To
establish Shou as a hero in her eyes and to set
up the final course of action which Shou must
The rebels are scattering as a rejuvenated
Chinese army, led by Shou, re-take Chang An. An
Lushan is nowhere to be found. The once
demoralised and angry citizens are now hailing
Shou as their hero and are calling him Emperor.
Purpose of scene: to establish that
Shou has fulfilled his vow to Lady Yang to put
down the rebellion and has replaced his father
as the most powerful man in China.
Back at the deserted Huaqing Li Bai has come
to the end of his story. The Emperor returns,
his frail body supported by his old friend Lishi.
He is a broken man. The Emperor stands on the
bridge where he watched Lady Yang bathe for the
first time. Suddenly he is attacked from behind
by An Lushan, who tries to strangle him. An
suddenly lets out a shriek of pain. An arrow is
embedded in his back. He turns to see Shou
(dressed in the full regalia of an Emperor)
holding a bow. An crashes into the water. For a
moment Shou turns on his father, and the old
Emperor tells him to do his duty and execute him
for his failure. But Shou spares his father as
the portrait of Lady Yang smiles down on them
from the darkened palace.
Purpose of scene: To complete Shou’s
transformation. To resolve the storylines. Shou
is now his own man, literally on top of the
world as Emperor of China. It is a bittersweet
moment because Shou has lost his Lady Yang.
However, he has kept the promise he made to her.
He has also avenged his brother’s death.
Finally, he has sacrificed his desire to make
his father pay for Lady Yang’s death by refusing
to execute him, enabling father and son to
achieve a reconciliation of sorts in their
The Sacrifice of Yang GuiFeiis the story of Emperor Xuanzong (of the prosperous Tang dynasty 618-907 AD) who brings 杨贵妃 Yang GuiFei, one of China’s most beautiful women, into his court as a concubine When they adopt China’s greatest villain, the barbarian An Lushan, their fateful triumvirate creates China’s greatest love story. Producer Toby Simkin optioned the worldwide rights almost immediately after hearing the score in early 2008 “it’s a powerful, sometimes shocking story, filled with a roller coaster of emotions from brutality to sweet and innocent love, building to a climax with The Emperor’s agonizing decision: save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save his dynasty – Richard Daniel’s remarkable score carries the audience through this cavalcade with a fabulous mix of Chinese and Western instruments.”
一个全新电影制作项目即将到来,由屡获大奖的英国团队创作并得到中方支持。电影牺牲》，讲述的是中国历史上最伟大的皇帝遇上中国古代四大美女之，并遭遇中国最大恶人之间的故事。 所有这一切构成了中国历史上最伟大的爱情故事 <<牺牲>>. The true story of Yang Gui Fei 杨贵妃, one of the Four Ancient Beauties of China, is famous for her role in the demise of the Tang dynasty. TOBY SIMKIN (Producer) is a theatrical producer who has over 25 years of 1st-class producing or managing experience of entertainment projects with over 120 Broadway/West End shows and tours from Annie to Victor/Victoria in the USA, Canada, UK, Russia, Australia, China and oceans between. From many Tony Award winning productions on Broadway to Olivier Award winning productions on London’s West, Mr. Simkin is a leader in the field of theatrical producing, management and marketing. Mr. Simkin is additionally credited with leading the theatre industry into cyberspace in the early 90's. Mr. Simkin maintains a residence in Shanghai, developing new opportunities for global entertainment where he owns a Chinese corporation - Shen Tu Bin Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd..