Actors from Denmark and Shanghai in modern Kierkegaard cabaret

A cabaret based on a play by Danish philosopher Soeren Kierkegaard is being performed in celebration of the bicentennial of the existentialist’s birthday.  The show is performed in English and will be playing in Shanghai and Beijing this month. The performance which is called The Either/Or Cabaret is a Co-production between Odense Theatre in Denmark and Theatre NoDomain and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.

The Either/Or Cabaret takes place in a nightclub in Shanghai in 1937, where Chinese and Europeans live their dreams. Outside the city swarm with enemies. Should the nightclub patrons stay or flee?

Together with the world renowned and Grammy nominated British cult band The Tiger Lillies, five Danish and five Chinese actors take us on a wordless journey, through newly composed and highly visual music. In the 1930’s Shanghai was more sinful than Berlin and Chicago combined. The city nicknamed Sin City was heaven and hell on earth for stranded Russians fleeing the revolution, Jews fleeing Nazism and Chinese in search of happiness. In the midst of this frightening and yet captivating maelstrom of self-expression flourished a lively night-life with exotic dancers, gigolos and inveterate hedonists.

Lead singer of The Tiger Lillies, Martyn Jacques, has written the music and the performance’s libretto – which is profoundly original and at the same time very loyal to the work of Soeren Kierkegaard.

The performance is sponsored by the Danish Arts Council Committee for the Performing Arts and Bikuben Foundation.