From an intertwining tale telling the stories of three generations 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.
In celebration of its 21st anniversary, Yellow Earth Theatre Company is presenting the programme in two parts - TyphoonEast at Shoreditch’s Rich Mix and TyhpoonWest at London’s Soho Theatre.
Led by artistic director Kumiko Mendl the company finds and develops East Asian artistic talent, creating opportunities for writers, directors and actors to make theatre for audiences everywhere.
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.”
TyphoonEAST will present the following six plays
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.
4pm, March 4
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, Mrs Hue is forced to seek help from a stubborn government official to protect her group.
7.30pm, March 4
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.
4pm, March 5
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?
7.30pm, March 5
Purple Cloud by Jessica Huang (USA)
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 and his granddaughter fights for her Chinese identity and the search for her true name.
4pm, March 6
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.
7.30pm, March 6
Various times, Friday, March 4 to Sunday, March 6, various prices, Rich Mix, Shoreditch