With rehearsals set to commence later this month, we’re thrilled to announce full casting for Amy Ng’s Under the Umbrella, which you can catch at Unty TheatreThu 21 - Sat 23 March as part of its UK Tour.
Set in Coventry and Guangzhou, this compelling new production tells the story of Wei, a young Chinese woman living and studying in the UK. As the single Wei approaches her 27th birthday, her grandmother begins to worry that she will be labelled a shengnu or “leftover woman”, and decides to intervene.
Unbeknownst to Wei, her grandmother pushes her mother into helping with the search for a suitable husband. Affixing Wei’s profile onto an umbrella, they join the hundreds of parents at the Marriage Market where the only successful transaction is a first date for your child. Torn between the conflicting expectations of her family and her life in the UK, can Wei navigate a path between them without losing sight of her own hopes and ambitions?!
Mei Mac ( Wolf Totem, Handspring and National Theatre Studio; The Apology and Thatcher in China (Yellow Earth Theatre and National Theatre Studio) plays PhD student Wei, alongside Laura Tipper ( City of the Unexpected, National Theatre Wales and Wales Millennium Centre; Tinned Goods, national tour; Peer Gynt, The North Wall) as her housemate Lucy.
Charlotte Chiew ( Love in Newsprint, Arcola Theatre; Random Acts, BBC Four) plays Wei’s mother, Dong, and Minhee Yeo ( Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok, Royal Exchange Theatre and Yellow Earth Theatre; One Day, Maybe, dreamthinkspeak; Avengers: Age of Ultron ) completes the cast as Wei’s grandmother. All four performers will also play ensemble roles.
Presented in partnership between Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Tamasha and Yellow Earth Theatre, Under the Umbrella sets out to shine a light on East Asian stories, some of the least represented on UK stages. It is produced by Lian Wilkinson, who is attached to the Belgrade Theatre through IGNITE, a collection of projects curated by the Sustained Theatre Regional Associate Producer Programme (STRAPP). Supported by Arts Council England’s Sustained Theatre Fund, the programme is led by Tamasha with seven regional theatres.
Under the Umbrella is written by Amy Ng ( Acceptance, Shangri-La ) and directed by Belgrade Theatre Associate Director Justine Themen, with design by Moi Tran and movement by Chi-San Howard. The play is based on an original idea by Lian Wilkinson. Lighting is by Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson, sound and music are by Arun Ghosh and the dramaturg is Ola Animashawun.
Under the Umbrella shows at the Belgrade Theatre from Saturday 2 until Saturday 16 March 2019 before touring Poole Lighthouse, Unity Theatre Liverpool and Tara Theatre London. Tickets are available to book now.
Under The Umbrella plays in Unity 1 from Thu 21 – Sat 23 Mar 2019.
Tickets can be booked online here or by calling 0151 709 4988.