Beijing Cake

Mon 19th – Sat 24th Aug 2013


“A fantastical political farce about race, cake, and Mao Zedong’s ghost”





Year of the Horse Theater


Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013, World premiere

BEIJING CAKE —an fantastical political farce about race, cake, and Mao Zedong’s ghost by New York Times bestselling author, Rachel Kauder Nalebuff.

Beijing Cake tells the story of mistranslation, international heartbreak, and the ghost of Mao Zedong. The play focuses on Lori, an American diplomat, who finds herself enamored with Beijing while on an official trip to China, and decides to settle there despite her inability to speak Chinese. She finds a mentor in the spirit of Mao Zedong, who is eager to dispense his anti-western philosophy and looks a bit blue from his formaldehyde bath. Misunderstandings and mayhem ensue as Lori goes through great efforts to have her son grow up like an ordinary Chinese child. But assimilation proves to be no piece of cake.

Beijing Cake presents an unconventional portrait of immigration and cultural identity where Americans try desperately to start a better life in China, as opposed to the other way around. While the play’s tone is absurdist and surreal, its message rings timely and true. As China poises itself to become a global superpower, cultural dynamics around the world will inevitably shift. Through humor and imagination, Beijing Cake explores what that future might look like. Most radically, the cast of African American actors playing Chinese character makes Beijing Cake a daring rumination on race and cultural misunderstandings at large.

Year of the Horse Theater is a theater troupe founded in 2013 by Yale University graduates eager to explore the intersection of laughter, politics, and theater. Company members include Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, Maya Seidler, Gabriel Christian, Sarah Rosen, Cassandra Da Costa, and Nathaniel Moore. Beijing Cake is their first play.

Praise for Kauder Nalebuff’s My Little Red Book:

“Original yet universal, artistic yet practical, and likely to sell briskly for centuries to come”

The New York Times

“It is a call for a change in attitude…it makes a difficult subject easier to talk about, and helps girls feel proud instead of embarrassed or ashamed”

Admission: £8(£6)

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