Yeh Shen: the world’s first Cinderella story from China

On Tour and at Polka Theatre 14 Feb – 5 April, 2015
Written by Vicky Ireland
Directed by Kumiko Mendl

The story of Yeh Shen first appeared in 9th Century China, over 1,000 years before the first European Cinderella story. For our Jan/Feb UK touring production, Yellow Earth and Vicky Ireland reimagined this timeless tale to celebrate Chinese New Year and give everyone a chance to experience this delightful tale.

A beautiful and enchanting tale of a young orphaned girl, a magical fish, a nasty stepmother and sister, and a lost shoe. Will Yeh Shen be able to attend the New Year Festival? How can a fish, a dragon and a horse help her? Will she ever find happiness? And what happens to the shoe?

Yellow Earth brought a new version of this timeless tale to life with puppetry, live music, elements of Beijing Opera and all the excitement, colour and sounds of the Chinese Spring Festival.

A co-production with Polka Theatre
It toured to Wimbledon, Deptford, Nottingham, Barking, Salisbury, Finchley, Sheffield, Brentford, Greenwich, Scarborough, Bolton and Shoreditch.



Cast Kerry Gooderson, Anna Leong Brophy, Rebecca Yeo, Ashley Alymann, Chris Chan and Joanna Zenghui Qiu
Writer Vicky Ireland
Director Kumiko Mendl
Design, Illustration Claire Lyth, Emily Twomey
Lighting Chris Randall
Original Music & Arrangements Joanna Zenghui Qiu
Sound Designer Gillian Tan
Choreographer Sinman Yue
Fight Director Haruka Kuroda
Puppet Director Roman Stefanski


"Kumiko Mendl directed with a flavour of traditional Chinese Opera with flags and ribbons, music and little dances... a shimmering fish... a splendid horse... delightful live music... colourful costumes and stylized scenery... to judge by its audience’s rapt attention and enthusiastic reaction, it is going to give youngsters a great deal of pleasure"

British Theatre Guide

"Everything is done so artistically and so tastefully that it is a beautiful performance for the whole family. Unlike many children’s shows, Yeh Shen had plenty of laughs for the adults too."

A Younger

' an extraordinary and attractive piece of work'

**** Remote Goat