We are pleased to announce the plays selected for TYPHOON2019 are:

Buried Kingdom by Kim Ho, directed by Emily Ling Williams
Friday, 27 September – Tristan Bates Theatre

There will be a talk back after the reading with playwright Kim Ho and Jean-Baptiste Phou, Head of Creative Programs, Cambodian Living Arts.

Chapters of a Floating Life by Clarence Coo, directed by Zhui Ning Chang
Friday, 4 October – Tristan Bates Theatre

Tango by Joel Tan, directed by Natalie Wong
Friday, 11 October – Tristan Bates Theatre

You Never Touched the Dirt by Zhu Yi, directed by Fumi Gomez
Friday, 18 October – Soho Theatre

Golden Shield by Anchuli Felicia King, directed by Ng Choon Ping
Friday, 25 October – Soho Theatre

 Yellow Earth’s popular biennial playreading festival, TYPHOON features a new selection of bold new writing by playwrights of East Asian* decent from around the globe. Each afternoon will feature a different play that has never been produced in the UK.

Dates and Venues:

Tristan Bates Theatre
27 September, 4 and 11 October

Soho Theatre
18 and 25 October

The Plays and Playwrights

27 September – Buried Kindgom by Kim Ho

Set against the backdrop of contemporary Cambodia, Buried Kingdom is the story of two second-generation migrants returning to their parents’ homeland in search of answers, redemption, belonging. Sophea travels to Phnom Penh yearning for something she can’t describe. Abel has been deported from America to a country he’s never known. As the pair embarks on a delicate friendship, they begin to discover untold histories, hidden strengths. But in the shadow of the Khmer Rouge, can they ever heal from the wounds of the past?

Kim Ho is a writer, performer and dramaturg based in Melbourne, Australia. His short film The Language of Love screened at over thirty film festivals worldwide, including the Sundance Film Festival. In 2017, his play Mirror’s Edge received a reading at Melbourne Theatre Company as part of AsiaTOPA, and a production at the University of Melbourne. The play subsequently won the Patrick White Playwright’s Award, administered by Sydney Theatre Company. His new satire Great Australian Play will premiere at Theatre Works in February 2020. A passionate advocate for marginalised voices, Kim aims create and promote diverse stories – with an emphasis on cultural diversity as it relates to Australia’s national story.

4 October – Chapters of a Floating Life by Clarence Coo

Chapters of a Floating Life tells the story of two Chinese couples living in New York City during the Second World War.  One husband and wife live uptown, obsessed with their homeland’s glorious past of poetry, painting, and cultivated gardens. The other husband and wife face the grim day-to-day reality of keeping their Chinatown restaurant in business. Their worlds, separated by a division of class and education, are disrupted when the two women meet in Central Park.

Clarence Coo is a New York-based playwright who is a recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award and the 2012 Yale Drama Series Prize. His plays include The Birds of Empathy, Beautiful Province (Belle Province), People Sitting in Darkness, and The God of Wine. He is an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, and the assistant director of academic administration of Columbia University’s MFA Writing Program. His play On That Day in Amsterdam will be produced off-Broadway this winter by Primary Stages.

11 October – Tango by Joel Tan

In Tango, set in Singapore, several characters are drawn together by an explosive controversy around queer rights. Across generation, class, and political divides, all must navigate the city’s toxic culture wars. 
Against towering administrative odds, a Singapore-British gay couple move back, son in tow, to Singapore to spend time with a dying, abusive father; an elderly waitress learns the hard way about call out culture; a lesbian mother finds the fissure point between politics and safety; and a closeted gay man learns to speak the language of his desire. Tango was first staged to critical acclaim by Pangdemonium, 2017, in Singapore.

Joel Tan is a Singaporean playwright based in London. His work has received acclaim for its lyrical and incisive interrogation of modern life in Singapore and beyond. His plays have been shortlisted for the Theatre 503 International Playwriting Award (2018) and the Papatango Prize (2019), and he is currently a member of the 503 Five, Theatre 503’s playwright residency scheme. He is an Associate Artist with Singapore’s Checkpoint Theatre. He graduated with a Masters in Dramatic Writing from Drama Centre London, Central St Martins, under a National Arts Council Singapore scholarship.

18 October – You Never Touched the Dirt by Zhu Yi

The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land–not to mention the Gods, ghosts and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them…
You Never Touched the Dirt was developed as part of the International Playwrights Programme at the Royal Court and has been produced in China (Nanjing University’s MFA Theatre Company, 2018) and New York (Clubbed Thumb, 2019).

Zhu Yi is a New York-based writer, originally from China and holds a MFA in playwriting, Columbia University. She received the first Prize at 2015 World Sinophone Drama Competition. She is alumni of EST/Youngblood and NYTW’s Emerging Artist Fellowship and a member of Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Royal Court Theatre’s International Playwrights Programme. Her work has been produced in various languages in Asia, Europe, Americas and Australia. Recent productions: A Deal (Chippen St Theatre, Australia; Urban Stages, NYC), I Am a Moon (National Performing Arts Center of China), Holy Crab! (Círculo de Tiza, Mexico), and Apene i Himalaya (Hålogaland Teater, Norway).

25 October – Golden Shield by Anchuli Felicia King

With interweaving storylines from across the globe, Golden Shield is an urgent legal drama that explores the creation of China’s epic firewall. Tenacious lawyer Julie Chen brings her sister Eva on board as a translator in a risky legal battle with international ramifications. Leading a class action to expose an American tech giant’s involvement with the Chinese government’s internet firewall, they must put their differences aside to confront large-scale censorship, corporate greed and their own complicated past. Golden Shield premiered in September at Melbourne Theatre Company.

Anchuli Felicia King is a playwright and multidisciplinary artist of Thai-Australian descent. Her plays have been produced by the Royal Court Theatre (London), Studio Theatre (Washington D.C.), American Shakespeare Center (Staunton), Melbourne Theatre Company (Melbourne), Sydney Theatre Company, National Theatre of Parramatta and Belvoir Theatre (Sydney). In the Spring her play White Pearl had its world premiere at the Royal Court Theatre.

A video from TYPHOON2017


*East Asian descent includes: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and their Diasporas.