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Poppy the Musical 1982 

Poppy the Musical was an RSC musical production which appeared on the stage at the Adelphi Theatre, Barbican, London in 1982. The libretto for Poppy was an unusual choice; the story of British colonial exploitation of China during the 19th Century Opium Wars, which led to untold loss of life and the destruction of homes and palaces. Amongst the wanton destruction and looting in the Second Opium War was the magnificent Imperial Palace at Yuan Ming Yuan, Peking (modern day Beijing). Several other items in the Museum's collection are from this period of history. 

Poppy the Musical drew on classic music hall and pantomime, but is ultimately a complicated and difficult piece for the inherent and overt racism of its content. Please read our Content Warning by clicking on the button above before viewing this section.  

Poppy the Musical, Programme

Poppy the Musical Royal Shakespeare Company
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