The Bridal Lament


A sumptuous audio-visual experience and song cycle by award-winning vocalist, producer and multi-disciplinary artist Rainbow Chan 陳雋然. 

Drawing on her Weitou ancestry (first settlers of Hong Kong), Chan reimagines a Weitou ritual known as the bridal lament, a public performance of grief in which a bride wept and sang in front of family and friends. In this liminal space, brides expressed bitterness towards their arranged marriages and the prevailing patriarchal rule. 

Conceived and structured as a song cycle, The Bridal Lament brings to life intergenerational and cross-cultural perspectives on diasporic experiences and the complex history of Hong Kong. With a new suite of songs by Chan and direction from Tessa Leong, this lush and lavish work pays homage to ritual in a vibrant and dynamic world of projection, movement and colour. 

Rainbow Chan’s music and shows have been hailed as ‘genre-bending art pop’ (NME) and ‘bewitchingly elfin in the exactly the same way that those words have been used to describe Bjork.’ (The Music).

“A striking and unique homage to heritage and sisterhood that could only be led by an artist such as Rainbow Chan.”

“A welcome return and uncompromising slice of art-pop.”  

“unmistakeably poetic in nature…The Bridal Lament 哭嫁歌 is tender yet intense.” – Suzy Goes See 


Wednesday 8 – Sunday 19 May 2024
Preview: Wed 8 May, 7.30pm
Wed – Sat, 7.30pm   
Sun 19 May, 5pm 
70 mins


Standard $35
Reduced $20
A small transaction fee will be charged per order.

Post-show Artist Talk 
Thu 16 May for all ticket holders

Auslan Performance
Thu 16 May, 7.30pm

Key Creatives

Lead Artist and Performer Rainbow Chan 陳雋然
Director Tessa Leong
Choreographic Consultants Amrita Hepi & Victoria Hunt
Video Design Rel Pham
Set Design Al Joel & Emily Borghi
Costume Design Al Joel
Lighting Concept Govin Ruben
Lighting Realisers Susie Henderson and Sam Read
Cultural Consultant and Narrator Irene Cheung 張翠屏
Video Programmer Daniel Herten

Produced by Contemporary Asian Australian Performance.

Co-commissioned by Performance Space and OzAsia Festival as part of Liveworks Festival 2023 and OzAsia 2023.

Supported by the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its principal arts investment and advisory body, the NSW Government through Create NSW, the Besen Foundation, Playking Foundation, the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, and West Kowloon Cultural District.

With commissioning support from City of Melbourne through Arts House, and Carriageworks. Generously supported by George Paramananthan and ParamCo.


The Bridal Lament contains haze, loud sounds, low lighting, lights that change in colours and intensity, black out and flashing moving imagery.

Performance includes translation of Weitou dialect into English through open captioning.

Detailed access information is available to download below
PDF | Word Doc

Check out Seven Sisters written, performed, produced and recorded by Rainbow Chan,


Previous Seasons

Liveworks Festival
19–22 Oct
Bay 20, Carriageworks 

OzAsia Festival 
1–2 Nov 2023
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre Theatre