At Work: Communications - Medium and message

Indira Das-Gupta

The Lady of Burma tells the story of opposition leader and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Lady of Burma is the first play about the life of pro-democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi to be brought to the London stage. Written and directed by Richard Shannon, it is a one-woman play starring Liana Gould, and will be performed at the Old Vic on 12 November to improve awareness of the democracy campaign's plight and raise funds for the Burma Campaign UK.

"I have always been interested in Burma," says Shannon. "Then I met Liana, who bears a striking resemblance to Aung San Suu Kyi, which gave me the idea for the play.

"I approached the Burma Campaign UK and they gave me a lot of help with my research, setting up meetings with political prisoners and lending me hours of video footage."

Shannon has focused on the Nobel Peace Prize winner's personal struggle, as well as the political obstacles she has overcome.

"She is always portrayed as this heroic character, but hers is also a story of personal tragedy," he says. "I want to win people's hearts and minds, and I believe a play can be the most potent way of affecting people."

The charity hopes the play will, as well as raising funds, spark a groundswell of opinion that will increase pressure on the Burmese government to release Aung San.

"We don't expect the play to lead to her immediate release," says Shannon.

"But it's a start."

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