The first draft of my script for the China performance, working title ‘Bored Meeting’ is now finished. I think that I have managed to answer the initial remit of providing a script which: ‘Highlights the effectiveness of Chinese-Japanese collaboration, whilst exploring how items of cultural heritage can be used in the development of modern products’, but I suspect that a number of re-drafts will be necessary before all parties are happy. The tone of the piece is satirical cynicism, and whilst I am fairly confident that most of the humour scans fairly well in English, it is impossible for me to determine how your average Chinese university student would receive it. Thankfully I have a couple of Japanese ad Chinese assistants to help me out with the translations, and to use as a sounding board for my ideas. Obviously given the lack of an entirely free-press in China, there are certain topics that it would be better to stay away from, especially given my lack of enthusiasm for being incarcerated as a political prisoner.
One of the first things that was pointed out to me was that the continual references to Seppuku (a form of Japanese ritual suicide) may be a problem, I tried to explain that it was subverting social conscience by highlighting racial stereotypes, but rather understandably it was felt that such subtleties may be missed. The second issue that was pointed out to me was that owing to the fact that China do not recognise Taiwan as an independent country, it might be best to avoid all mention of them, even ‘hilarious’ jokes which poke fun at the inferior quality of their manufacturing industry. And so it was back to the old drawing board, which whilst not the most interesting of places is certainly preferable to a Beijing prison.