The Bridal Lament opens at Arts House

The Bridal Lament opens at Arts House

Hong Kong-Australian musician, producer, and songwriter, Rainbow Chan, is set to bring her unique one-woman, audio-visual “song cycle” The Bridal Lament to Arts House from May 8 to 19.

Drawing from the music and traditional rituals of the Weitou people, the earliest settlers of Hong Kong, Rainbow Chan has crafted a multidisciplinary work that sheds light on the poignant tradition of bridal laments; an ancient ritual that saw young brides express their protest against arranged marriages through three days of wailing and song.

“The show delves into themes of loss, resilience, and the complexities of gender dynamics through a cross-cultural and intergenerational lens,” Rainbow Chen told North West City News.

Performed across three languages, her work integrates music, visuals, choreography, and storytelling, offering audiences a fresh perspective on ancient traditions and sparking conversations about “migration, gender, cultural inheritance and the power of song as a form of expression”.



“The preparation process has been incredibly rewarding – collaborating with talented individuals such as director Tessa Leong and working on the intricate details of the production has been a fulfilling journey,” she said.


It’s been a labour of love to bring this vision to life on stage. What’s more, I have collaborated closely with my mum on this show – she’s not only one of our cultural consultants, but we’re stoked to have my mum narrate the show in her mother tongue, Weitouhua.


Reflecting on the significance of Arts House and the North Melbourne area, Rainbow Chen says the “vibrant hub of creativity and cultural exchange” has been especially welcoming since moving from Sydney to Melbourne only last year.

“It’s so nice to be warmly welcomed in this city. Being able to perform in this new environment adds an extra layer of meaning to the work,” she said.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the support and collaboration that has gone into creating The Bridal Lament, it’s a project that is deeply personal yet resonates with universal themes. I hope it leaves a lasting impact on everyone who experiences it, encouraging a deeper conversation around cultural heritage, women’s resilience, and grief work.” •

The Bridal Lament opens at Arts House

The Bridal Lament opens at Arts House

May 15th, 2024 - Georgie Atkins
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