top of page

Work commissioned, developed and performed by Michelle Yim

The Ballad of Mulan

A woman, a warrior, a Chinese legend.


Don't expect a fluffy, magical Disney tale here, this Mulan is visceral.  She is a warrior, a fighter, a woman who survived in a very male world for ten years without discovery.  There is no perfect make-up, no singing animals, just a gritty story of a soldier. For ten long years she fought for the Chinese Empire, disguised as a man, but 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.


This is Michelle Yim's third solo commission, after The Empress and Me and An Evening with Miss Wong. Bloomsbury playwright Ross Ericson and Michelle Yim bring to life the real Mulan who, to save her families honour, disguised herself as a man and joined the Emperor's army.

Mulan Fringe Brochure Image.jpg

This project’s development is supported using funding from Arts Council England.

Written and Directed by Ross Ericson

Performed by Michelle Yim

Music by Pearl Yim

Weapon and Armour by Philip Dell

Costume by Elizabeth Cooke

Produced by Grist to the Mill Productions

The Ballad of Mulan has visited:


The Rotunda Theatre, Buxton Fringe 21 Jul 2019

Assembly Room, Powder Room, Edfringe 2-23 Aug 2019

Chinese New Year 2020 UK Tour

-New Hall School, Chelmsford, 22 Jan 2020

-Dixie Grammar School, Market Bosworth, 28 Jan 2020

-Newcastle Confucius Institute, 31 Jan 2020

-The Carlile Hub, Meltham, 1 Feb 2020

-Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, 2 Feb 2020

-Cowley International College, St Helen, 3 Feb 2020

-Anchorsholme Academy, Thornton-Cleveley, 4 Feb 2020

-The Old Hall, UWTSD, Lampeter Campus, 5 Feb 2020

-The Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead, 12 Feb 2020

-Seven Kings School, Ilford, 14 Feb 2020​​​​​​​​​

Bakehouse Theatre Studio, Adelaide Fringe 3, 7, 12 Mar 2020

The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield 29 May 2021

(as part of the Together Festival Season)

Capstone Theatre, Liverpool 27 June 2021

(as part of the Angel Field Festival)

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough 11 Sept 2021

Chinese New Year 2022 UK Tour

-Rose Theatre, Edgehill Arts Centre, 26 Jan 2022

-The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant, 27 Jan 2022

-Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, 28 Jan 2022

-Martin Harris Centre, Manchester C.I., 31 Jan 2022

-Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton, 1 Feb 2022

-Garrett Theatre, Storyhouse Chester, 2 Feb 2022

-Sherling Studio, Lighthouse Poole, 3 Feb 2022

-Hull Truck Studio, Hull Truck, 4 Feb 2022

-The Witham, Barnard Castle, 5 Feb 2022

-Pontio Studio, Bangor Confucius Institute, 6 Feb 2022

-Benenden School, 7 Feb 2022

-Quay Theatre, Sudbury, 8 Feb 2022

-Fisher Theatre, Bungay, 9 Feb 2022

-Llandovery College, Llandovery, 10 Feb 2022

-The Old Hall, UWTSD Lampeter C.I., 11 Feb 2022

-Northcott Theatre, Exeter, 12 Feb 2022

-Irving Studio, Everyman Cheltenham, 17 Feb 2022

The Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen 7 Mar 2022

Robert Gordon College, Aberdeen 8 Mar 2022

The Rotunda Theatre, Brighton Fringe 10-12 May, 28-29 May

Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, 18 June 2022

The Rotunda Theatre, Wells Theatre Festival 7, 10 Jul 2022

The Rotunda Theatre, Buxton Fringe 10, 17, 19-20 Jul 2022

Gilded Balloon, Edfringe 3-28 Aug 2022

Norwich Theatre, Stage Two 28 Oct 2022

The Potteries Museum, Stoke on Trent 20 Jan 2023

Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley 21 Jan 2023

Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Heriot Watt C.I. 3 Feb 2023

Robert Gordon College, Aberdeen 27 Sept 2023

Tour Schedule

Fri   09 February 2024   St George's Hall, Liverpool    6:30pm

 (as part of Liverpool Confucius Institute: Chinese New Year Gala)

Fri   08 March 2024        Bridport Arts Centre           7:30pm

                       (in celebration of International Women's Day)

Press Reviews 

British Theatre Guide 'It’s a brilliant performance, thus proving that both Red Dragonfly and Grist to the Mill can reach and exceed the high bars they have set in previous years, and that there is always new wisdom to be found even in the oldest of stories.'

Tulpa Magazine 'A powerful exploration of gender, war, and identity, as relevant and timely today as ever.'

Stage Whispers 'Michelle Yim is absolutely terrific as Mulan. She holds the stage with a commanding presence as well as charm and warmth. We feel for Mulan's dilemma, as well as being impressed with her fighting skills.'

bottom of page