top of page



The Empress and Me is now being produced by our sister company Red Dragonfly Productions and available for bookings. Click here to request a touring pack or to have a chat if you are interested in having the production at your venue.

​Written by Ross Ericson

Performed by Michelle Yim

Costume assisted by Laura Boseley

Lizzie Yu, daughter of a Chinese Diplomat and Eurasian mother, was raised in France to be every bit the Victorian Lady, but when her father is recalled home she suddenly finds herself living in the Forbidden City, entangled in the politics of the Chinese Court and lady-in-waiting to the infamous Empress Cixi.


The amazing true story of the Princess Der Ling who, following her unique experience of life at the Manchu court and close relationship with the Empress Dowager, became an international celebrity.


The Empress and Me was supported using funding from Arts Council England.

The Unknown Soldier

The Empress and Me 2017-2018 Reviews


                              Adelaide Theatre Guide

'Full of ambition, politics and cultural tension'


'Absolutely fascinating – a window onto an early twentieth century culture now lost for ever.'

The Stage

'Yim is a winning performer.'

Stage Whisper

'It is the message the audience takes away that is powerful... of a woman who is trying to find out who she really is in multiple cultures but in which she feels she doesn’t really belong.


'An interesting journey to an unfamiliar place, and an enjoyable insight into a remarkable tale.'

Broadway Baby

'An engaging manifestation of a fascinating woman who was clearly mistress of her own destiny in defiance of her times and culture'

The Empress and Me has visited:

Rialto Theatre, Brighton Fringe, 6,9,12 & 26 May 2017

Rotunda Theatre, Buxton Fringe, 9,12-13 & 19-21 July 2017

Assembly George Sq Studio, Edfringe, 3-28 Aug 2017

Ognisko Polskie, London 29 Oct 2017

Bakehouse Studio, Adelaide Fringe, 23,27 Feb & 2 Mar 2018

Blue Room, Southbank Centre London, China Changing Fest,

7 Oct 2019

Irving Studio, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham 9 & 11 Oct 2019

Audience Reviews:


Nicola Gibson (2017) - Wonderful, delightful little play... Brilliantly and charmingly acted.

Diya Wen (2017) - I like the performance & story and the subject. I'm proud to see Chinese face here at Brighton Festival

Michael Aubrey (2017) - A fascinating account of a remarkable life, performed with skill, conviction and great style

Beverley Howard (2017) - Very engaging... Extremely well cast and beautifully dressed.

Alison Wiklund (2017) - Excellent subject matter: the human condition in all its variations... East on West! 

John A. Hill (2017) - Absolutely brilliant. Fascinating and hugely interesting portrayal from a gifted performer.

Jan & Alan Wallin (2017) - Excellent performance, really made the history come alive. It brought back memories of our visit to the Forbidden City and China and its people. Excellent set.

The Empress and Me is tour-ready and available for 2023-2024.

Go to Red Dragonfly's page for performance dates and tours.

bottom of page