The Ballad of Mulan

The Round60mins (no interval)Theatre, Shows & Events

The real woman behind the legendary Chinese female warrior who disguised as a man to join the Empire’s army.


Presented by Red Dragonfly Productions and Grist to the Mill Productions
Written and Directed by Ross Ericson
Music by Pearl Yim
Costumes by Elizabeth Cooke
Armour and Weapon by Philip Dell

Key Cast:

Michelle Yim

Price: From £10

The Ballad of Mulan Image
11 September

Woman, warrior, legend. For ten years Mulan disguised as a man, has fought for the Chinese Empire. Now the fighting is coming to an end, one last battle and she will be going home - but can she return to her old life, become a woman again. A search for identity in a violent world.

Commissioned by and performed by West Yorkshire-born British-Chinese actress Michelle Yim, developed with the support and funding from Arts Council England. Produced by the team behind Edfringe Sell-Out 'The Unknown Soldier' Grist to the Mill, in collaboration with British East Asian theatre company Red Dragonfly Productions, we bring you the real Chinese heroine that inspired Disney's animation and live-feature Mulan. 

Age guidance: 10+
Content warning: description and sounds of war and violence, screaming.

"A powerful exploration of gender, war, and identity, as relevant and timely today as ever. Expect humour, a lot of heart and a refreshing focus on the darker aspects of a familiar tale."
Tulpa Magazine on The Ballad of Mulan

"Michelle Yim is absolutely terrific as Mulan. She holds the stage with a commanding presence as well as charm and warmth."
Stage Whispers on The Ballad of Mulan

"Full of ambition, politics and cultural tension"
Adelaide Theatre on The Empress and Me

Red Dragonfly Productions strives to bring stories from the East and Far East to a British and European audience. Working in collaboration with Grist to the Mill Productions, the team has already brought three classic Chinese stories to the British stage. The Autumn of Han 2014-2015, DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan 2015-2016 have successfully toured the UK and Monkey and The White Bone Demon graced the British stage in 2019. Red Dragonfly also encourages and nurtures new British playwrights with East Asian heritage through their annual new-writing competition Taking Flight Festival.

Grist to the Mill Productions is passionate about bringing theatre, exciting new-writing and stories with a new perspective to the British and International stage. Ross Ericson is the founder and resident playwright. The company's production of Casualties, a gritty story about the soldiers in the bomb disposal unit in the Afghan war, was nominated for Best New Play at the OffWestEnd Award in 2013. Working with sister company Red Dragonfly Productions, the team has adapted various Chinese classics into a European theatre format and toured around the UK, promoting intercultural interest and creating opportunities for British East Asian artists. To date Ross Ericson has 4 plays published by Bloomsbury, Methuen Drama: Casualties, The Unknown Soldier, Gratiano and Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones. The thought-provoking The Unknown Soldier continues to tour after a Sell-out season at Edinburgh Fringe in 2016 and even after the centenary, touching the hearts and thoughts of the audiences everywhere.

Follow Red Dragonfly Productions: Website, Facebook, Twitter

Follow Grist to the Mill Productions: Website, Facebook, Twitter

For your peace of mind, we have a no-fuss refund policy if you need to self-isolate.

We are a Covid-secure venue and have been awarded two industry standard marks recognising the comprehensive safety measures we have in place which include temperature checks, 1 metre+ socially distanced seating, hand sanitiser stations, one-way systems, enhanced cleaning, staggered arrival times

We'll be asking you to continue to wear a mask (unless you’re exempt) when moving around the building or when watching a show or film, at least for the time being.

You can find full details of our Covid safety measures here.


Saturday 11 September 2021, 2.30pm

Saturday 11 September 2021, 7.30pm

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funded by
Arts Council England
Whitby-Scarborough-Filey Borough of Scarborough
Discover Yorkshire Coast