Willow Pattern

February 19, 2015 by TDLP

There was once a Mandarin who had a beautiful daughter, Koong-se. They lived in a palace with a beautiful garden.

Koong-se fell in love with the Mandarin’s secretary, Chang.

The Mandarin was very angry and banished Chang from the palace. He built a fence round the garden to separate them.
The Mandarin announced that Koong-se was to be married to a nobel warrior called Ta-jin. She was very upset when she heard that Ta-jin was arriving. She did not love him, she loved Chang.

Chang had heard of the engagement and stole into the palace in disguise, dressed as a servant. He found Koong-se and they agreed to run away together. The couple ran out of the palace and were crossing the bridge when the Mandarin and ordered his guards to chase after them.

The couple escaped to live on a distant island but the Mandarin’s spies followed them. The Mandarin ordered for the couple to be killed. The gods felt sorry for the couple and turned them into two doves to fly in the sky together forever.




The Willow Pattern is a famous blue and white pattern that was invented in England in the 18th Century, inspired by Chinese designs and used on ceramics like plates, cups, jugs and vases. An interactive performance that tells you the Willow Pattern story through original music and song, treasure hunting and dragon dancing. Families have a chance to solve clues to help the Mandarin. Maybe you can come and help us solve the mystery and watch the pattern come to life?

At the end of the the Willow Pattern every child will get a bluebird feathers to take on a journey. Send us a picture and tell us all about it.

You can find out more by visiting the V&A blog: http://www.vam.ac.uk/blog/news-learning-department/singing-the-blues-february-half-term

TDLP Team for the Willow Pattern:

Tom Fairbairn, Grethe Mangala Jensen, Paul Matania, Phoebe Osborne, Paul Rubenstein, Frank Wilson

Composed by Lucy Shaw
Directed by Sally-Anne Donaldson
Written by Sally-Anne Donaldson, Becky Overton and Lucy Shaw
Set by Holly Brown and Elodie Ancel
Costumes by Sophie Hedworth and Art START
Produced by Tea Dance for Little People in association with the V&A

Thanks to Claudia Hope and Jenny Wedgbury from the Learning Department, V&A

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