Supported by Alumni and Friends: Cross-cultural theatre goes to Edinburgh Fringe

Throughout the year, generous donations from alumni and friends help to fund a diverse range of activities that support the student experience and benefit the Goldsmiths community. In a new series of blog posts, we will share a selection of projects that demonstrate the difference these projects make at the College.

Haisheng Chen, a Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship: Theatre and Performance student from China, led a team of 13 students from the student society, Chinese Traditional Theatre Art, to develop, coordinate and tour an original theatre production entitled ‘Painted Skin Returns’.

The society, which seeks to explore the cross-cultural aesthetics between Chinese and British culture, received support from alumni and friends, enabling this piece of physical theatre to reach audiences in London, Edinburgh and beyond.

‘Painted Skin Returns’ uses modern and traditional dance and mime to present Chinese folk culture and philosophy. The society worked alongside a group of young people from the London Borough of Hackney providing opportunities for members of the local community to engage with an unfamiliar art form.

Having successfully composed a bespoke musical score, negotiated with sponsors and successfully marketed and delivered the production, the students involved developed a wide set of skills which will help them upon graduation.

Due to the support of Goldsmiths’ alumni and friends and also to the ‘To The Fringe! Fund’, the society was able to register, advertise and perform in the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival in summer 2018, where it was well received, receiving high praise from Seeing Dance as well as an acknowledgement from China Daily.


The project has since been featured as part of the Shanghai Art Festival and has been selected to take part in Prague Quadrennial 2019.

More information on the show ‘Painted Skin Returns’ on their website.


Alumni and friends also generously support students facing financial difficulties and the provision of bursaries, scholarships and prizes. For more information or to make a gift, please visit our website.