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 for a gala performance last year at the Old Vic (See News, 24 Oct 2006), The Lady of Burma stars Liana Mau Tan Gould (pictured). The play has also been staged at the Edinburgh Fringe and, following its Riverside run, it will launch a UK-wide tour in spring 2008.
The Lady of Burma is produced by Riverside Studios, Louise Chantal and James Seabright, in association with the Burma Campaign UK.
- by Terri Paddock