This is a timely collection of six diverse contemporary plays, being published within months of the opening of three plays by British East Asian playwrights in the UK, and a growing awareness in the mainstream press that East Asians in British theatre are under-represented. As Daniel York Loh writes: British East Asians were effectively side-lined in any debate on diversity in theatre where the general establishment view tends towards a binary black/white... which seems to exclude large swathes of the Asian continent. With a historical overview of the involvement of East Asians and those of Chinese descent in British theatre ranging over more than 200 years.
With an introduction by academics Dr. Amanda Rogers and Dr. Ashley Thorpe which sets the plays into context and explores the hidden history of theatre from BEA theatre-makers.
The seven plays in the anthology are:
Bound Feet Blues by Yang-May Ooi
The Last Days of Limehouse by Jeremy Tiang
Conversations with my Unknown Mother by Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen
Special Occasions by Amy Ng
Jamaica Boy by Stephen Hoo
Tango by Joel Tan
The Fu Manchu Complex by Daniel York Loh
Author: Cheryl Robson
Publisher: Aurora Metro Books
Binding Type: Paperback
Size: 8.20h x 5.80w x 1.00d
About the Author
Yang-May Ooi was born in Kuala Lumpur, studied at Oxford University and now lives in South London. She trained as a lawyer and has written a novel, The Flame Tree (Monsoon), plays and memoir. Her cross-cultural blog, Fusion View, has been featured on BBC Radio. She is a speaker and has given a TedX talk called Rebel Heart. http: //www.tigerspirit.co.uk
Jeremy Tiang is a novelist, playwright and translator from Chinese. His translations include novels by Yeng Pway Ngon, Su Wei-Chen, Yan Ge, Zhang Yueran, Lo Yi-Chin, Chan Ho-Kei and Li Er. His plays include Salesman之死, A Dream of Red Pavilions, and translations of scripts by Chen Si'an, Wei Yu-Chia, Quah Sy Ren and others. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. He lives in Flushing, Queens, and is a member of the translation collective Cedilla & Co.
Lucy Chai Lai-Tuen was the first female British-Chinese to graduate from a recognised British drama school; the first BEA to star in a British feature film Ping Pong (1987) and the first and only British East Asian female to have been cast in a major Shakespearian role (Portia in Julius Caesar directed by the late great Roger Rees at the Bristol Old Vic 1987). Also a founding member of the British East Asian Artists Group responsible for highlighting discrimination within the theatre profession. She has also written several plays.
Joel Tan is a Singaporean playwright based in London. Described as one of the most exciting Singapore playwrights of his generation, his plays have received acclaim for their lyrical and incisive interrogation of his home city's politics and society. In Singapore, his plays have been produced by leading theatre companies like Checkpoint Theatre, Wild Rice, and Pangdemonium. Recent work in the UK includes LOVE IN THE TIME OF THE ANCIENTS, shortlisted for the 2019 Papatango Prize, and NO PARTICULAR ORDER, shortlisted for Theatre 503's 2018 Playwriting Award. Joel is part of Theatre 503's residency scheme, the 503 Five, and an associate artist with the London-based Chinese Arts Now Festival and Singapore's Checkpoint Theatre. Joel also works inter-disciplinarily, and has collaborated with visual artists, poets, musicians and dancers as a writer, director and dramaturg. Joel has an MA in Dramatic Writing from the Drama Centre, Central Saint Martins, which he pursued under a scholarship from Singapore's National Arts Council.
Amy Ng is a British-Hong Kong playwright. Her plays include UNDER THE UMBRELLA (Belgrade Theatre Coventry - UK tour), ACCEPTANCE (Hampstead Theatre) and SHANGRI-LA (Finborough Theatre). Radio plays include TIGER GIRLS (BBC Radio 4) and KILBURN PASSION (BBC Radio 3). She is under commission to the Royal Shakespeare Company and ice&fire, and is developing her play THATCHER IN CHINA at the National Theatre Studio. She is also part of the inaugural Genesis Almeida New Playwrights Big Plays programme. Her new adaptation of Strindberg's MISS JULIE will be produced at Chester Storyhouse and for TV she is working on original projects with BBC Studios and Merman. Amy trained as a historian with a research interest in multinational empires, imperial decline, and nationality conflict, and is the author of 'Nationalism and Political Liberty' (Oxford University Press). She is fluent in English, German and Chinese and regularly translates contemporary Chinese plays into English.
Daniel York Loh is an award-winning writer and filmmaker who is one of 21 writers of colour featured in the best-selling essay collection The Good Immigrant. His short plays have been staged at the Royal Court, Orange Tree, Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Bush. Along with composer Craig Adams he was the winner of the 2016 Perfect Pitch award to create an original stage musical, Sinking Water, based on events around the 2004 Morecambe Bay Chinese cockle-pickers' disaster. His play about the World War One Chinese Labour Corps, Forgotten 遗忘, was produced by Moongate and Yellow Earth. He is also one-third of alt-folk band Wondermare whose debut album is available on iTunes and Spotify.
Stephen Hoo is a writer and actor. He studied Theatre at The BRIT School before completing his B.A in Modern & Classical Chinese at SOAS. His first play NAKED EYES was showcased in 2009 at THE TRISTAN BATES Theatre exploring racial and sexual politics of an ever changing London gay scene. In 2011 Stephen joined The Royal Court's Critical Mass New Writing programme where he further developed his writing craft and began working on ANTIBUSE, a play that delved into the worlds of addiction, inertia and manic depression. Stephen is a recent graduate from RADA where he completed the M.A Theatre Lab. During his time there he furthered his desire to write for Theatre, Film and T.V. under the tutelage of Writer/Director Tom Hussinger (SPARKLE, LAWLESS HEART, BOYFRIENDS) and Director Sue Dunderdale (EASTENDERS, CORONATION STREET, CASUALTY). Stephen is a long-time collaborator and mentee of Rikki Beadle-Blair (METROSEXUALITY, FIT, BASHMENT) who also mentored Noel Clarke. Recently Stephen was commissioned by The Theatre Royal Stratford East to write JAMAICA BOY. Stephen is currently part of the BBC Writersroom. Acting credits can be found at www.stephenhoo.com