fanSHEN works through theatre and the arts to help people imagine what they haven't thought of yet.
Our work promotes ideas of environmental, social and financial sustain-agility and these ideas are embedded in the making-process.
fanSHEN is a Mandarin word which translates roughly as ‘to turn the body’ or ‘to turn over.’ The word was used by the Chinese Communist Party to describe their radical, ambitious and ultimately highly destructive land reforms in the 1940s. It therefore evokes ideas of radical change and how terrifying radical change can be – themes which crop up again and again in fanSHEN’s work.
Fanshen was also a play written by David Hare about a village in China attempting to execute these land reforms and paying a high price. The play was devised by the playwright in collaboration with an ensemble of actors (Joint Stock) and a director (William Gaskill). So the name also suggests a model of artists collaborating together to create a work of art; a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.