British East Asian Plays
First collection of full-length plays from British East Asian playwrights
Playwrights: Yang-May Ooi, Jeremy Tiang, Stephen Hoo, Amy Ng, Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen, Joel Tan and Daniel York Loh.
Selected and Edited: Cheryl Robson, Dr Amanda Rogers and Dr Ashley Thorpe.
With an introduction: Dr Amanda Rogers and Dr Ashley Thorpe
A landmark collection of contemporary full-length plays by British East Asian writers. Exploring subjects such as cultural identity, the fragmentation of communities, tradition, invisibility and discrimination, these plays are ideal to perform.
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.
This is a timely collection, 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.”
The seven plays in the anthology are:
Bound Feet Blues by Yang-May Ooi
The Last Days of Limehouse by Jeremy Tiang
Jamaica Boy by Stephen Hoo
Special Occasions by Amy Ng
Conversations with my Unknown Mother by Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen
Tango by Joel Tan
The Fu Manchu Complex by Daniel York Loh
About the authors
Yang-May Ooi is a multimedia author of Chinese-Malaysian heritage. Her creative works include novels The Flame Tree and Mindgame, live storytelling performances and online multimedia projects. Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes is her first theatre piece. She lives in London with her Partner.
Jeremy Tiang trained as an actor at Drama Centre, London. His plays include The Last Days of Limehouse (Yellow Earth), Salesman之死 (LPAC / Gung Ho Projects, NYC) and A Dream of Red Pavilions (Pan Asian Rep, NYC); his theatre translations include A Son Soon by Xu Nuo (Manchester Royal Exchange), A Fable For Now by Wei Yu-Chia (PEN World Voices 2018) and Floating Bones by Quah Sy Ren and Han Lao Da (Arts House, Singapore). Jeremy is also a novelist (State of Emergency, Epigram Books) and the translator of novelists including Zhang Yueran, Yeng Pway Ngon, Tianxia Bachang and Chan Ho-Kei. He has received an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship and a People’s Literature Award Mao-Tai Cup for Translation. He was born in Singapore and lives in Brooklyn.
Stephen Hoo studied Theatre at The Brit School before completing his BA in Modern & Classical Chinese at SOAS. He then went on to do his MA in Theatre Lab at RADA. Stephen was a member of The Royal Court’s Critical Mass writing programme and the BBC Writers room.
Amy Ng is an Australia-born British-Hong Kong playwright. Her play Acceptance ran at Hampstead Theatre in March 2018. Her debut play Shangri-La premiered at the Finborough Theatre in July 2016. She is under commission to the Royal Shakespeare Company, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, iceandfire theatre company, Yellow Earth Theatre, and feminist theatre company Dangerous Space. Tiger Girls, a 45 minute radio play, will be broadcast 17 July 2018 on Radio 4. Kilburn Passion, a monologue performed by Daniel Mays, was first broadcast on 15 June 2017 on Radio 3. She was recently named to the BBC New Talent Hotlist 2017. Amy is also 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). Amy was educated at Yale University and at Balliol College, Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She graduated with a D. Phil in Modern History.
Lucy Chau Lai-Tuen wrote and performed There are Two Perfectly Good Me’s: One dead, the other unborn, in 2011. Since then writing commissions include: Ungrateful: A Paper-Daughter, Restrain Your Grief and Adapt to the Mishap and Come To Where I’m From: London.
Lucy’s short play Waiting was selected for the REDfest 2012 new writers competition at The Old Red Lion Pub Theatre.
Re:Play a writing bursary from Nimble Fish and mentorship from Inua Ellams – Ungrateful: A Paper-Daughter which she performed to a sold out performance at the Southbank as part of Poetry International 2015 and Restrain Your Grief and Adapt to the Mishap, a short play for The Royal Court Theatre and the return of Live Lunch – Hidden a series of six short plays challenging the established view of what it means to be a British East Asian, produced and directed by Lucy Morrison. Longlisted for the OldVic12 2015 and 2017. Published in Foreign Goods (Oberon, 2018).
In 2016 she was commissioned by Paines Plough/Tamasha for Come To Where I’m From: London. Her play Comfort Women about what happens to the survivors of war was developed by Papergang Theatre Company and given a rehearsed reading at The Tristan Bates Theatre 2015. It was then invited to show at the Women and War Festival in June of 2017.
My England (2018) is a Young Vic short monologue commission.
Lucy’s debut documentary, Abandoned, Adopted, Here which she wrote, produced and directed has won global acclaim and won a Golden Oniros for best screenwriting 2017.
Joel Tan is a Singapore playwright and performer based in London, where he is pursuing the Masters in Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre London, Central St. Martins. Recent productions of his plays include Tango (Pangdemonium, 2017), Cafe (The Twenty-Something Theatre Festival, 2016), Mosaic (The M1 Fringe Festival, 2015), and The Way We Go (Checkpoint Theatre, 2014). His plays have received acclaim for their range and complex insight on contemporary Singapore, and several are collected in Joel Tan: Plays Volume 1, published by Checkpoint Theatre, where he is an Associate Artist.
Joel also creates performances with artists working in contemporary art, poetry, and dance. This most notably includes The Nature Museum (Singapore International Festival of the Arts, 2017; Fast Forward Festival, Athens, 2018), a museological performance tour created with visual artist Robert Zhao; and spoken word memoir You Are Here (2016), created with poet Pooja Nansi. Joel also writes non-fiction, and his essays have been published by Art Review Asia, POSKOD Singapore, Esquire Singapore, and The Substation Singapore.
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, is being produced by Moongate and Yellow Earth. He is also one-third of alt-folk band Wondermare whose selftitled debut album is available on iTunes and Spotify.