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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Auckland Theatre Company

Auckland Theatre Company’s bracing, bawdy knockout Single Asian Femalehas New Zealand premiere at ASB Waterfront Theatre in April

After sold-out seasons over the ditch, it is Auckland’s turn to experience this riotous family comedy from one of theatre’s most exciting contemporary voices, award-winning writer Michelle Law.

Originally commissioned and first produced at Brisbane’s Roundhouse Theatre by La Boite Theatre Company in 2017, Auckland Theatre Company (ATC) has worked closely with the playwright and relocated the play to Aotearoa, telling the story from a Chinese New Zealand family’s perspective.

Single Asian Female is the story of restaurateur Pearl Wong, a first-generation Chinese immigrant and single mother living in Mount Maunganui. She’s the quintessential Asian matriarch – balancing family, the business, and her love of karaoke. Enter her daughters; Auckland-based Zoe, in the throes of online dating and making big life decisions, and teenage Mei, who is grappling with her cultural identity in NZ. A universal story of mothers, daughters and sisters that will connect with many, this warm-hearted comedy tackles big themes with humour and a light touch.

Director Cassandra Tse (The Aliens, Gutenberg! The Musical!, Yellow Face) says,
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring Single Asian Female to the New Zealand stage for the first time. Asian New Zealanders have been part of our country’s story since the mid-19th century but are still sorely underrepresented in all forms of homegrown media, including theatre. This play, about a Chinese diaspora family featuring three Chinese New Zealand women leads and directed by a Chinese New Zealander is a real landmark in terms of ATC’s programming, and one that I’m very proud to be a part of.”  

Starring in the lead role of Pearl Wong is Kat Tsz Hung (The Gulf, Mystic, My Wedding and Other Secrets), who won Best Actor Festival Award in 2016 for the short film Wait.

Kat is joined by rising talents Xana Tang (Mulan, Fresh Eggs, Matariki) and Bridget Wong(Shortland Street, The Prodigal Son, Mother) in the roles of daughters Zoe and Mei. Olivia Parker(Black Hands, Before Karma Gets Us, Canary in the Cradle), Holly Stokes (Legally Blonde, Mission Control Kids, Antony & Cleopatra) and Zak Enayat (Dead, Let’s Get Loco, Gays In Space) complete the effervescent cast.

Joining Cassandra Tse in the experienced creative team is set designer Rachael Walker (Two Ladies, Black Lover, Joan/The Daylight Atheist), costume designer Alison Reid (48 Nights on Hope Street, 8 Reasonable Demands, Dance Like Everybody’s Watching), lighting designer Rachel Marlow (Black Lover, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Red Speedo), with sound designer and master of Karaoke tracks Sean Lynch (Two Ladies, Black Lover, Winding Up).  Ben Henson (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Valerie, Red Speedo) rounds out the creative team in the role of director’s mentor.

The production also marks the first time Auckland Theatre Company has collaborated with Proudly Asian Theatre Company, and continues ATC’s commitment to championing inclusive, contemporary works that tell the stories of all New Zealanders.

Sassy, incisive and authentic, the Auckland Theatre Company season of Single Asian Femaleplays at ASB Waterfront Theatre 27 April to 15 May. Tickets are on sale now.

MIL OSI