Coventry raises umbrella for Ng première

Published: 12 January 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre has announced the cast for the world première of Amy Ng’s Under the Umbrella which opens in the city before a short tour.

Set in Coventry and Guangzhou, Under the Umbrella 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.

Wei’s mother and grandmother affix Wei’s profile onto an umbrella before joining hundreds of parents at a marriage market where the only successful transaction is a first date for your child.

Mei Mac plays PhD student Wei and Laura Tipper is her housemate Lucy. Charlotte Chiew plays Wei’s mother Dong and Minhee Yeo completes the cast as Wei’s grandmother. All four performers will also play ensemble roles.

Under the Umbrella will be directed by Belgrade Theatre associate director Justine Themen, with design by Moi Tran and movement by Chi-San Howard. The play is based on an original idea by Lian Wilkinson. Lighting is by Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson, sound and music are by Arun Ghosh and the dramaturg is Ola Animashawun.

Presented in partnership with Tamasha and Yellow Earth Theatre, Under the Umbrella is produced by Lian Wilkinson who is attached to the Belgrade Theatre through IGNITE, a collection of projects curated by the Sustained Theatre Regional Associate Producer Programme (STRAPP).

Under the Umbrella runs at the Belgrade Theatre from Saturday 2 until Saturday 16 March before touring to Poole Lighthouse on Tuesday 19 March, Liverpool’s Unity Theatre from Thursday 21 until Saturday 23 March, and London’s Tara Theatre from Tuesday 26 until Saturday 30 March.