If — unlike Shanghaiist — you watch kung fu films for the technical proficiencies of the martial arts sequences rather than for the hilarious subtitles (“You bastard! Try this melon!”), then you’ll probably get a kick (literally) out of this month’s visit by the Songshan Shaolin Temple Wushu Institute.
Thirty monks from the Institute — the most famous of the many kung fu organizations found in Shaolin in Henan Province — will take part in the show, Shaolin Soul, at Shanghai’s Lyceum Theatre. They’re promising a host of eye-popping martial arts techniques including “Thirteen Buddhist Monks Help Emperor Qin”, “Fight at the Gate of the Mountain” and — our favourite — “Work of Quincuncial Pile”.
No sign, however, of the legendary martial arts feat which sees exponents drag 20-kilogram weights along the ground, attached only to their testicles. Guess they’re leaving that to the Tokyo Shock Boys or those morons from Jackass.
If you’re unable to make it to the show, then you might like to seek out some Shaolin-inspired films instead. We recommend Shaolin Dolemite, in which a skilled female fighter uses her ample bosom to slap an opponent into submission, “with an astonishing display of breast fu”. Or, if you’re in the mood, try the scatologically titled Shaolin Popey 2: Messy Temple. Then there’s Shaolin Invincibles, which features two men in very bad gorilla suits going at it like Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon.
(Tricked you there. As every fan of The Office — UK version — will know, Chuck Norris fights Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon, not Enter the Dragon).
Shaolin Soul, at the Shanghai Lyceum Theatre August 3-31. 57 Maoming Nan Lu (茂名南路57号). RMB 100-280. Tel: 5228-0759 or 13816065040.