Ahead of this Saturday’s International Day of Action in support of a Free Burma, a special one-off performance of The Lady of Burma, Richard Shannon’s one-woman play about Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, will be held on Friday 5 October 2007 at London’s Soho Theatre.

As the Burmese government’s brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests led by monks continues to provoke global outcry this week, Friday’s performance is being held in support of the Burma Campaign UK. Theatregoers are invited to pay what they can (though a £5 donation is suggested).

Aung San Suu Kyi, the eponymous lady of the play’s title and the only Nobel Peace Prize winner who remains a political prisoner, is leader of Burma’s National League for Democracy (NLD), which won a landslide election victory in 1990 but has never been allowed to govern.

Suu Kyi was inspired by the non–violent campaigns of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King and India’s Mahatma Gandhi to stage rallies around the country, calling for peaceful democratic reform and free elections. The protests and rallies were brutally suppressed by the army, after which Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest, unable to see her two sons, grandchildren, family or friends.

Written and directed by Richard Shannon, The Lady of Burma stars Liana Mau Tan Gould. The new Soho date follows the play’s success at the Edinburgh Fringe and a gala performance last year at the Old Vic (See News, 24 Oct 2006). It’s presented by the Burma Campaign UK in association with Louise Chantal. Places can be reserved by calling 0870 429 6883. For further information on the International Day of Action, visit the Burma Campaign website.

- by Terri Paddock