Belgrade to stream Under the Umbrella

Published: 15 May 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Charlotte Chiew and Mei Mac in Under the Umbrella Credit: Robert Day

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre is to stream online its 2019 production of Amy Ng’s Under the Umbrella.

Set in Coventry and Guangzhou, the play tells the story of Wei, a young, single Chinese woman living and studying in the UK. As she approaches her 27th birthday, her grandmother begins to worry that she will be labelled a “shengnu” or “leftover woman”, and decides to intervene.

Affixing Wei’s profile onto an umbrella, she joins the hundreds of parents gathering at the Guangzhou marriage market where the only successful transaction is a first date for your child.

Staged by the Belgrade in association with Yellow Earth Theatre and Tamasha, Under the Umbrella is based on an original idea by creative producer Lian Wilkinson and is directed by Justine Themen.

Wilkinson said, “this recording was originally shot for archive purposes rather than public broadcast. But faced with such extraordinary circumstances, we’re exploring new ways of continuing to share stories and connect with audiences.

“We’re delighted to have the support of the full cast and creative team to share the show online.”

The cast includes Mei Mac, Laura Tipper, Charlotte Chiew and Minhee Yeo. The production is designed by Moi Tran with lighting by Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson and sound and music by Arun Ghosh. Movement direction is by Chi-San Howard and the dramaturg is Ola Animashawun.

Under the Umbrella will be streamed via the Belgrade Theatre’s YouTube channel from 22 until 29 May.