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Return of the Master at Blackpool Grand Theatre

There is something hypnotic about the spectacle of feats of endurance and the level of skill which is only achieved after years of attentive rehearsal.  Combine spectacles of this nature with colourful sets and a lively instrumental soundtrack and the result is an evening at the theatre like no other.  Returning to the Grand Theatre on 26th May with a brand new show, the Shaolin Warriors will be showcasing their incredible feats of agility, strength and skill.

If you want a sneak peak of what to expect, the Cliffs Pavilion at Southend has kindly uploaded clips from Return of the Master:

The Return of the Master is choreographed by the official choreographer of the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics and features 22 professionally trained Kung Fu masters. It features Kung Fu disciplines such as chi-gong and animal imitation boxing with 18 kinds of dangerous traditional weapons.

The Shaolin Warriors are hugely popular at the moment and have been seen by over half a million people to date.  The history of Shaolin Kung Fu is interesting but the legend is, to my mind, much more exciting.

The story goes that in the 6th century, Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk from India, travelled to a monastery in northern China.  In response to being evicted from the monastery he entered a nearby cave and stared at the wall for nine years, refusing to speak for the entire duration.  Some folks say that he fell asleep during the seventh year and responded by cutting off his eyelids to prevent it happening again.  At the end of the ninth year he either died, disappeared or entered the monastery to teach depending on who tells the tale.  Personally, I can believe that they let him sit out there for nine years before a vacancy became available but this might reflect my perspective on employment prospects in 2013.

After an epic stare-out which would have given Granny Weatherwax a run for her money, the cave wall was left with a hole to mark the spot on which Bodhidharma’s eyes had rested.  The other memento Bodhidharma left behind him was a book, the Yijin Jing, a Qigong manual which informed the physical prowess which the Shaolin Warriors boast to this day.HK_Star_Bruce_Lee_10

You could spend your bank holiday Sunday on the sofa or down the pub.  Or you could head into town to watch a 1,500 year old discipline performed by the only Shaolin performance troupe based in the UK.  In the words of Bruce Lee, “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

Return of the Master is suitable for all ages.  Tickets start at £16.50 and are available from the box office on Church Street or on the website.

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