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A week of new plays by East Asian writers 2nd-6th March

The Bite by Atsuto Suzuki (Japan) (2) performed in Tokyo
The Bite by Atsuto Suzuki (Japan) performed in Tokyo

TYPHOON 2016 at London’s Soho Theatre and Rich Mix: A week of new plays by East Asian writers March 2nd-6th 2016.

The independent, London-based YELLOW EARTH THEATRE COMPANY will present a week of imaginative new plays by East Asian writers from the UK and abroad from March 2nd to March 6th at the West End’s Soho Theatre and the East End’s Rich Mix.

From young love in the Chinese community of 1960s Jamaica to a troublesome dolphin in present-day Japan via disembodied minds and censored states, Typhoon 2016 offers a wonderfully eclectic range of work from some of the best East Asian playwrights.

Typhoon WEST at Soho Theatre will present two bold new plays by British East Asian playwrights:
March 2nd at 3pm Summer Rolls by Tuyen Do
March 3rd at 3pm Jamaica Boy by Stephen Hoo
Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE

TyphoonEAST at Rich Mix will present readings of six exciting new plays by East Asian playwrights from around the world between March 4th and 6th:
March 4th at 4pm: Belonging by Francis Turnly (Ireland)
March 4th at 7.30pm Red Flamboyant by Don Nguyen (USA)
March 5th at 4pm The Bite by Atsuto Suzuki (Japan)
March 5th at 7.30pm Cogito by Huzir Sulaiman (Singapore)
March 6th at 4pm Purple Cloud by Jessica Huang (USA)
March 6th at 7.30pm Shape of a Bird by Jean Tay (Singapore)
Tickets: 020 7163 7662 www.richmix.org.uk
Rich Mix, Venue 1 (Upstairs theatre), Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA

Yellow Earth Theatre Company has built up a reputation for presenting excellent new plays in touring productions and public readings by East Asian writers who live in the UK and abroad. Led by Artistic Director Kumiko Mendl the company finds and develops East Asian artistic talent, creating opportunities for writers, directors and actors to make bold, imaginative and thought provoking theatre for audiences everywhere.

For this season’s TYPHOON programme, work has been submitted by writers whose origins lie in a variety of East Asian countries – from China to Singapore, Korea to Japan, Vietnam to the Philippines. In celebration of its 21st anniversary, Yellow Earth will present Typhoon 2016, a week long festival of outstanding new work at Soho Theatre and Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

Kumiko Mendl
Kumiko Mendl

Yellow Earth’s Artistic Director Kumiko Mendl said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be working with both Soho Theatre and Rich Mix in presenting TYPHOON 2016 to mark our 21st anniversary. I think audiences will be richly rewarded with the wide range of subject matter in these eight new works: identity and cultural belonging, questions of censorship, stigma, love and loss are all explored and will definitely provide food for thought. We have selected a programme of work by East Asian writers from the UK and abroad that we feel represents our values as a company. The plays are imaginatively brave and acknowledge that although our cultures and terrains may differ, we are all connected by what it is to be human.”

TyphoonWEST @ SOHO THEATRE 2-3 March 2016

March 2nd: Summer Rolls by Tuyen Do (UK)
It’s 1989 and the Nguyen family have sought safety and security in a new home in Essex, far from their beloved war-torn Vietnam. But for each of them ‘home’ has a different meaning. The wounds suffered take many forms and over 25 years the family struggle to learn how best to heal them.

March 3rd: Jamaica Boy by Stephen Hoo (UK)
Travelling from 1960s Jamaica to present day London Jamaica Boy is a raucous and touching story of love, memory and displacement. Christian is a hopeless homophobic half Chinese hoodie doing community service when he meets old cantankerous Jamaican woman Ophelia. Here begins his search to find out who he is, why he is and where he’s going in a play exploring identity, displacement and diaspora​​.

TyphoonEAST @ RICH MIX 4-6 March 2016
March 4th at 4pm: Belonging by Francis Turnly (Ireland)
Three gaijin (foreigners) find themselves adrift in Tokyo’s underworld. In searching for the father she never knew in a country that is alien to her, half-Japanese Rose hooks up with her friend Chloe and Chloe’s flatmate Josh. The three have varying personal and professional problems and in dealing with them find themselves facing collisions of class and culture as East meets West in a search for security, redemption and a place to belong.

March 4th at 7.30pm: Red Flamboyant by Don Nguyen (USA)
Mrs Hue lives in present day Vietnam with a small group of women who are all living with HIV/AIDS. Ostracised by their neighbours who are convinced they will become infected by the women, bricks are thrown through the windows of their small house and Mrs Hue is forced to seek help from a stubborn government official to protect her group. Unlikely heroes emerge both in this world and the next as the women reach new heights of courage.

March 5th at 4pm: The Bite by Atsuto Suzuki (Japan)
A couple face the dilemma of what to do with their pet dolphin which appears to have escaped its tank…and grown a pair of legs! Japanese kitsch and dolphin are the flavour of the day with this satirical comedy of gourmet food obsessions.

March 5th at 7.30pm: Cogito by Huzir Sulaiman (Singapore)
Set in Singapore, twenty years in the future, two women grieve for the same husband. With shared experiences and memories a battle for identity ensues: who is the real Katherine Lee? This critically acclaimed commission of the Singapore Arts Festival, Cogito weaves the consequences of neuroscience and computing into a compelling story of love and loss.

March 6th at 4pm: Purple Cloud by Jessica Huang (USA)
When you’re Hapa (multiracial heritage) you know deep down you’re greater than the sum of your many parts”. Through three intertwining stories, three generations of the Huang family deal with the messy and beautiful business of acculturation: Grandpa Lee immigrates from Shanghai to America during World War II; his son Orville deals with his confusion as a first generation Asian American, taught to pass as white; and his granddaughter fights for her Chinese identity and the search for her.

March 6th at 7.30pm: Shape of a Bird by Jean Tay (Singapore)
In a country that has decreed only a single story is allowed, an imprisoned writer writes imaginary stories for her daughter. But when truth is suppressed and fiction and the real world begin to collide, she’s forced to choose between her stories and her own daughter as her two worlds spin dangerously out of control.


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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