Mountains: The Dreams if Lily Kwok, Yellow Earth @ Stratford Circus Arts Centre

22 March – 2 June, 2018 (Tour)

by In-Sook Chappell
Directed by Jennifer Tang.

Full dates and locations of the tour can be found here

Mountains is a beautiful new play by In-Sook Chappell that highlights the importance of identity and asks important questions about choice.

As we open, the scenery design immediately invokes a true sense of the hustle, bustle and grit of Hong Kong. From the off we are spun a tale of three generations of women, with Grandmother Lily Kwok, taking Helen on a retelling of her life, and how she ended up living in Manchester.

Even just watching this play, you could feel the energy of something truly new and exciting being performed. The play insightfully and sensitively navigated the topic of colonialism and classism in British Hong Kong and Manchester at the time. Taboo ideas, such as Chinese problem-gambling, were highlighted in a stark but meaningful way. Director Jennifer Tang has done a fantastic job in highlighting these issues while never loosing sight of the story of family at the play’s core.

Sui-See Hung and Tina Chiang delight as the colourful Grandmother and Daughter and deserve the success this play is having. Their performances are insightful and evocative. Ruth Gibson also deserves a mention for her portrayal of Mrs Woodman. Her depiction of a colonial Brit in Hong Kong shows great humanity and subtlety to a role which could so easily have been used to lambaste a generation.

This play was a stand out from start to finish. If you are London-based, there are performances in Bury-St-Edmunds and Watford, and I strongly urge that you catch this play before it’s close.

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