Thursday, October 11, 2007


Title:Moonwalking In Chinatown
Cast: Jason Chan, Simon Edwards, Wendy Kweh, Pik-sen Lim, Ping Ping Wong, Ozzie Yue, Li Wing Hong, Lap Kung Chan, Jenny Pecheur, Julie Chueng-Inhin, Wiliam Liu, Carol Wong, Jonathan Tsang, Connie Ip, Sandy Ip, Joanne Lee, Pam Pik-Shan Lui, Angel Liu, Johnny Ong, Jonathan Tsang
Writer/Director: Justin Young/Suzanne Gorman
Venue: Soho Theatre/Chinatown, London, September 26th 2007

It is the last week of September, the time of the Autumn Moon
Festival, with strings of lanterns woven through the streets of
London's Chinatown. A group of old Chinese folk play mahjong in a
flat, surrounded by photographs, examples of the old world and the
new. After the game, walking through streets, an old pair meet a
mother and daughter, looking for a lost rabbit. The old woman talks
about the moon festival, how the young generation, the British-Chinese
generation let the old traditions slide. The old man says that she
shouldn't let that happen, even if it is short notice, they could
still have a celebration, they can still hold to the ritual
rememberance of ancestors. Calls are made, plans thrown into place,
but it isn't that easy - with one grand-daughter running away to China
to become a pop-star, while the other dates a man who is British, a
scandal when grandmother disapproved of the British-Chinese her mother

Moonwalking In Chinatown is described as being a piece of site
specific theatre. The performance starts in the top floor studio of
the Soho Theatre. There the audience is split into groups, clutching
colour coded mahjong tiles we file into the streets, following the
lantern bearer that relates to our colour. From there we are into the
streets of London's Chinatown, each group seeing different scenes,
individually, sometimes in pairs, weaving the fragments together. A
street corner where 3 teens wait for the fourth, every week they get
together and have dinner and sing karaoke - but with the fourth's
decision to leave for Beijing things are thrown into chaos. Through
the rest of the night, the friends search the streets, trying to find
their friend, trying to find her before she makes a mistake. In an
alleyway, we are stopped by a woman and her young daughter, handed a
poster for a missing rabbit. Round the corner we witness a mistake
being executed with violence, watched by the ghost of generations

The result is live and unpredictable. A man shouts at us, encouraging
us to eat at his restaurant, only to become part of the piece. Random
people in the street follow us, ask for explanations, take pictures,
look on with indifference. We walk up one street following the green
lantern, while the yellow lantern comes the other way, we exchange
furtive, knowing glances. In the end, green lantern enters the street,
yellow lantern side-by-side, a little ahead blue lantern, a little
behind red lantern. Streaming into a back courtyard, a banquet laid
out in memory of ancestors, and the drama of jealousy, of lies, of
trust, of tradition is played out to its end.

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