ECHO at The Bush

Tuesday 20th of October, saw our first collaboration with the Bush Theatre, a new writing and storytelling event ECHO. We showcased an evening with extracts from four scripts in development, one short play, two extracts from produced pieces interlaced with poetry and music. Massive thanks to everyone involved: Kit Loyd, Philip Tomlin, JonathanChan- Pensley, Stephen Hoo, Natalia Hinds, Julie Cheung-Inhin, Naomi Christie, Yang-May Ooi, Lucy Sheen. The wonderful Irene Ng directed the majority of the pieces.

Lactose Intolerant by Naomi Christie
Luke is in his Mum’s place of work only to discover she no longer employed there. What unravels puts them both in danger and asks if the cost is too high for aspiration. This is Naomi’s debut piece.


Bound Feet Blues by Yang- May Ooi
Bound Feet Blues – A Life Told in Shoes is an autobiographical solo piece exploring female desirability and empowerment through the ancient Chinese practice of footbinding and the shoes in writer/ performer Yang-May Ooi’s life ¦ Tristan Bates Theatre ¦ 24 Nov to 12 Dec 2015 ¦ Part of the SE Asian Arts Festival ¦ Info and tickets via


Papergang-BushTheatre-20Poetry by Lucy Sheen
Why do Old Chinese People Hoard so Badly 
China is not a good place to be a bird.
I know this Unchartered Face 

Chinese Numbers
Actor/Writer and occasional poet Lucy reads four of her poems.

Music by Clarissa Widya
Called from performance retirement as a last minute addition due to cancellation.

Papergang-BushTheatre-31Apologies by Simon Ly
Graham, a door to door salesman wants to prove himself in a hostile, misunderstood world. When he goes into the barbers to get a shave to help him fit in, he discovers the importance of using just the right language.

Orchids by Joyce Lee
Violet discovers the family business’ sketchy practices regarding human rights. However, confronting her Uncle makes her ask herself if there’s always a price to pay for success Follow Joyce:

Jamaica Boy by Stephen Hoo
A play about bout identity, diaspora and Chinese Jamaicans.

Papergang-BushTheatre-42No More Lotus Flower by Julie Cheung-Inhin
What is it like being a British East Asian actor in the UK today? Bringing together anecdotes and experiences from members of the industry, this play will enlighten, entertain and make a stir (most definitely NOT a stir-fry, because that’s just racist, that’s the problem, see?)

Sent by Dan Kok
Set in a near future dystopian world, this examines and questions the lengths human beings will go to in order to not get “Sent”.

Not wanting to waste the opportunity, having come from performance retirement I spoke about why we organise these evening as Papergang Theatre. In a more coherent matter it came down to this:

Papergang-BushTheatre-1Art should reflect the times and the British East Asians should get our voices heard and faces seen on stage. We are fully fledged members of this society and so we should be viewed and treated. When we are heard and seen on stage, we are heard and seen in society. We are no longer them in ‘them’ and ‘us’, we are part of society, we are them and they are us.

This might be just another reading but it is a step forward, upward so we can cross over into mainstream, break out from the fringe performances and the educational programs onto the main stage. We are dedicated to this cause even if it means as an unfunded theatre group, working through lunch hours, emailing in evenings and reading scripts til the middle of the night; you have to believe that we deserve this place of equality, and I really do.

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