Author Interview: MW Sun

Aurora Metro recently published From Shore to Shore, written by Mary Cooper in collaboration with MW Sun. For tour information, please visit the play website.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Shanghai, China but grew up in Hong Kong. I worked as a news journalist for the BBC in London, CNBC in Singapore and Radio Television Hong Kong in China before joining the commercial and NGO sectors.

How did you get into theatre?

“Writers Pathway” – a short course for Chinese writers led me to write a play which was produced by Yellow Earth Theatre.

What is the name of your latest play (or plays) and what inspired it/them?

From Shore to Shore is a play I collaborated with Mary Cooper. Mary and I met on Writers Pathway. During the course, Mary realised the Chinese story has not be told. She and I began to interview Chinese people with the view of using the materials for a play.

What’s the first hook that gets a new play started for you? Is it an image, a theme, a character?

Often it is a character and they are usually strong characters.

What else have you written? Is this play a departure from your other work?

I wrote Arachnophobia and Good Fortune Restaurant for Yellow Earth Theatre. From Shore to Shore is quite different as it covers a long period in history and I worked with Mary Cooper on it.

What were you like at school? Were you good at English?

I am Chinese and did not start learning English until I was sixteen years old. And in any case, I am mostly self-taught as I didn’t go to school much.

What are you working on now?

A play about Chinese students studying at UK universities. I’m also working on two novels.

What are you reading now?

I’ve just finished Ann Patchett’s This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

What advice would you give to aspiring playwrights?

Keep writing, join a writing group.