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Find your Roots at Uxbridge
Kelly Teed, January 31, 2018
It’s not often you see a play subtitled in Auckland — much less one that’s subtitled in Mandarin but Proudly Asian Theatre is leading the way.
In its first show of the year, Proudly Asian Theatre is bringing Roots to Howick — the first time its brought a show outside of central city suburbs.
In association with the Auckland Lantern Festival and the Auckland Fringe Festival, Roots is written by Oliver Chong is directed by Chye-Ling Huang and stars Amanda Grace-Leo.
The performance, at Uxbridge Arts & Culture will be the first time the solo play has been performed by someone other than writer Oliver Chong. It’s also the first time Chong has given permission for the play to be performed by someone other than himself – and for the gender of the main character to be changed to reflect Singaporean-Kiwi actress Amanda Grace-Leo.
It follows the journey of one woman’s quest to find her familial identity in the cultural confusion of Singapore. She arrives in China to reclaim her past, but ends up stumbling upon more questions than answers.
Huang says the high Chinese population of Howick made it a good choice to branch out to with the hope of giving them an opportunity to relate.
“Parents and kids who may have different first languages can come together and experience the same show, and have their different life experiences acknowledged,” she says.
“I think that New Zealand and Singapore both share a lot in terms of identity crisis journeys. We’re both young countries with a lot of diasporic communities and this story is likely to resonate with a lot of different communities.”