LONDON—For the president of the performers’ union Equity, Shen Yun was “so impressive.”
Veteran actress Maureen Beattie, who is only the second ever female president of Equity, saw the performance with fellow actress Marcella O’Riordan at the Eventim Apollo in London on May 1.
They both had nothing but positivity towards the performers.
“Excellent, wonderful performers! I mean it’s so impressive, so impressive, the training they must go through, it’s extraordinary,” said O’Riordan.
“You can tell that all the dancers can act as well, tell us the story and it’s wonderful to hear a story you don’t know anything about,” said Beattie.
Beattie has played many roles in British theatre and on television in a career spanning over 40 years.
In 2018 she became president of Equity, a union that represents more than 45,000 performers in the UK.
New York-based Shen Yun takes audience members on a journey through China’s 5,000 years of semi-divine culture in a performance that is frequently described as “eye-opening.”
Beattie said she could sense the performance was divinely inspired.
“We need a bit of inspiration in our lives, don’t we, in our little mundane, worldly lives,” she said.
“Sometimes it’s good to think about higher things, things to do with the spirit and how we might better ourselves and be kinder. Sympathy for others … and that’s just in the show very much, so it’s wonderful,” she said.
‘Full of Magic’
Through about 20 vignettes, the performance relays the essence of genuine Chinese culture using performing arts, and inspires viewers through stories based on universal values and themes that have slowly faded away from our lives.
Beattie was also very impressed with the digital backdrop incorporated in the performance, a patented visual effect in which dancers can seem to move seamlessly between the stage and the backdrop.
She said it was “so clever!”
“Full of magic, the show, wasn’t it?” she exclaimed.
Beattie was also moved by the messages in the vocal performances, which touched upon values and beliefs treasured in traditional Chinese culture.
One in particular spoke about how the meditation of Falun Dafa, which many of the Shen Yun performers practice, could “save lives.”
“Oh, you’d always want to save lives, wouldn’t you?” Beattie said. “Everyone is so unpleasant to each other, so we want to be pleasant. If we are not nice to each other, we are not going to save any lives, are we?”
With reporting by Mary Mann and John Smithies
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.