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WHITESNAKE3000 - Blue Room Theatre

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Event: -
A musical exploration of Chinese folklore
WHITESNAKE3000 Blue Room Theatre
Zendra Giraudo reconnects with her cultural heritage in WHITESNAKE3000 by performing a creative rendition of the myth of Madame White Snake. Photo credit Hannah Bethany Laurent


WHITESNAKE3000 is a musical theatre experience from director Joe Paradise Lui about the migrant experience growing up in Australia and the struggles that people face to push back against assimilation and to not forget the stories, histories, memories and ideas from their culture back home. The show features Zendra Giraudo, a Queer Chinese-Malaysian-Australian dancer, in the starring role who gives a spectacular performance in a creative re-telling of the legendary Chinese folktale The Myth of Madam White Snake.

WHITESNAKE3000 Blue Room Theatre
Zendra Giraudo gives a transformative performance in WHITESNAKE3000. Photo credit Hannah Bethany Laurent


The legend of the White Snake is considered one of China's Four Great Folktales. It tells a story of a man named Xu Xian who gets into a relationship with a snake spirit named Bai Suzhen. It began as a story as good vs evil but over the centuries has evolved into a romance story with Xu Xian and Bai Suzhen being deeply in love with each other. The story has been adapted into a number of Chinese operas, films, and television series.

WHITESNAKE3000 Blue Room Theatre
Zendra Giraudo performs a dance in WHITESNAKE3000.Photo credit Sophie Minissale


In the show, Giraudo uses a mixture of dance, stand-up comedy, and storytelling to examine her life through the lens of the legend of The Myth of Madam White Snake. They talked about growing up biracial in Australia with a Chinese-Malaysian mother and a white Australian father. They spoke about not having a great relationship with their father, feeling disconnected from their mother's culture, and shared stories about being teased by other Asian students for being biracial. Giraudo discusses how The Myth of Madam White Snake has been framed in the past as a cautionary tale about women and discusses the symbolism of women being compared to snakes and changing their entire sense of self to please a man.

WHITESNAKE3000 Blue Room Theatre
WHITESNAKE3000 is a story about the pressure immigrants feel to assimilate into Australian culture and forget their cultural heritage. Photo credit Hannah Bethany Laurent


In the folktale, the White Snake transforms into a woman so they can win the heart of Xu Xian. The tagline for the show asks the audience "Would you like me better if I was a snake?" which I interpreted as "Would you like me better if I assimilated into Australia to better fit in?" This is how the show ties the story of The Myth of Madam White Snake into the migrant experience growing up in Australia. A lot of people feel pressure to assimilate into modern-day Australia and give up the cultural traditions that have been passed down in their family for generations so they can better fit in. This can put a lot of stress on people and make them feel like they don't belong in Australia or back home.

WHITESNAKE3000 is currently showing at the Blue Room Theatre as part of Summer Nights 2023 until Saturday, 28 January 2023. The show runs for 70 minutes and is suitable for people 15 years and older. Tickets are $28 for full price and $23.00 for concession. To book tickets for this show please visit https://blueroom.org.au/

* Marisa Quinn-Haisu was invited as a guest

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Why? WHITESNAKE3000 is a reimagining of one of the most legendary folktales in all of China The Myth of Madame White Snake.
When: Friday 20 January to Saturday 28 January 2023
Where: The Blue Room Theatre, 53 James Street, Northbridge WA
Cost: Full price $28.00, concession $23.00
Your Comment
Incredible makeup and costuming to help tell this tale.
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|6139) 4 days ago
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