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Ovalhouse & Moongate Productions in association with Mark Cartwright

The Fu Manchu Complex by Daniel York

by Daniel York

Challenging the 'Yellow Peril' racist stereotype, five East Asian actors white up to play the traditional colonials in this hilarious murder mystery in the East End, using physical comedy and the style of the Victorian music hall in a pastiche of classic British cinema.


NB Friday 11 October's performance (only) has been cancelled due to illness. 

  • Wheelchair Access
  • 1 - 19 October, Tues-Sat 7.45pm. Previews 1 and 2 October. Free post-show event Tues 8 Oct 9.30pm.

Venue: Downstairs

“...Brings to life an uneasy British past where the subjugation of whole races and dominance at any human cost of precious land and assets was the top priority…inventive…incredibly guiltily hilarious” The Public Reviews

“Funny, often outrageously so….an accomplished cast…The Fu Manchu Complex will make you laugh and make you think”  There Ought To Be Clowns

“Works extremely well in satirising stereotypical thinking and the colonialist idea” British Theatre Guide

“If you enjoy The Book of Mormon style of comedy then this show is for you. A clever piece performed by 5 strong actors...addresses the historical and extremely racist representations of Chinese in literature and on stage by the Brits and allows five talented actors of East Asian descent to break loose from the pigeonholing that still inflicts them today. ..clever and funny” Everything Theatre

“Compelling” “Unnerving” What’s On Stage

“A devilishly ironic spin on Sax Rohmer’s classic novel that will leave you in hysterics at the Ovalhouse in South London…wildly satirical and steeped in sexual innuendo…the atmosphere created on stage is alluring ” The Upcoming

“…The funniest parody where nothing is as it seems and black is white, white is black and everything is yellow…ingeniously written” Parsimonious Penny


Who is Fu Manchu: sinister Chinaman, criminal genius, racist myth..?

Battling through clouds of opium, spiffing chaps Dr Petrie and Inspector Nayland Smith must do anything to stop the dastardly plans of evil criminal mastermind Dr Fu Manchu; but will their colonial angst allow them to do away with the villainous evil genius and save merry old England? And as their blundering leads them to ever more absurd conclusions, we ask, who is the real Fu Manchu?

2013 sees the hundredth anniversary of the publication of the first novel featuring Sax Rohmer's lurid and fantastical racist creation, the evil Dr. Fu Manchu. A century on we re-examine the skewed perceptions that have arisen around this pervasive myth.


  • Tue 1 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Wed 2 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Thu 3 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Fri 4 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Sat 5 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Tue 8 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Wed 9 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Thu 10 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Fri 11 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Sat 12 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Tue 15 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Wed 16 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Thu 17 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Fri 18 Oct, 7:45pm
  • Sat 19 Oct, 7:45pm

Writer - Daniel York
Director - Justin Audibert
Producer - Mark Cartwright
Creative Producer - Jennifer Lim


Paul Chan
Chipo Chung
Andrew Koji
Jennifer Lim
Moj Taylor

Moongate Productions is a multi-modal creative set-up that allows fluidity between theatre, film and documentary. It is committed to creating and developing high quality projects that raise the profile of, and give free reign to, East Asian talent whilst challenging stereotyped portrayals of East Asians.

Daniel York
Born of mixed Singaporean/English parentage and grew up in the UK. As an actor his theatre work in London includes Mu-lan’s award winning production of Porcelain at the Royal Court and Fortinbras opposite Alan Rickman's Hamlet at the Riverside Studios.

As a writer and director his feature film script Beautiful Friend has been developed by Film4 and his short film, Mercutio’s Dreaming: The Killing Of A Chinese Actor, was recently nominated for four awards at the World Music & Independent Film Festival.
Last year he was selected as part of the Royal Court’s Unheard Voices initiative for emerging East Asian writers. As a result of this he was invited on to the Royal Court Studio writers.

Additional information


Tues 8 Oct 9.30pm
Free post-show live music and poetry

Stephanie Dogfoot, also known as Stephanie Chan, is a poet from Singapore, currently based in London. Born in 1987, she has been writing poetry ever since her first gerbil died when she was eleven, and has been performing since 2008. Followed by semi-acoustic trio Wondermare. They do folk rock covers of songs mostly about horses. Sometimes they sing in Mandarin. Mostly they rock. Plus Kristina Lao, a Hong-Kong born singer-songwriter and actor currently living in London. She will be performing in Dim Sum Nights with Yellow Earth in November. Her EP will be released in 2014.



The Fu Manchu Complex is supported by Arts Council England and the Singapore International Foundation.

Click an image to view a larger version.

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