Slow Boat by Anna Yen

Slow Boat by Anna Yen

Brotherhood is easy when things run smoothly. But when someone causes hurt, this is where it’s tested.’

To celebrate Victory in the Pacific, six indentured Chinese workers are staging a theatre show at Brisbane’s Bulimba Dockyards.

The men aim to weave an epic tale of brotherhood and resilience, charting their journey from poverty and war in rural China, through hard work on the tiny phosphate-rich island of Nauru, to a hasty evacuation from the Japanese to Australia, and all the challenges that they overcame on the way. However, differing perspectives of critical events in their story threaten to derail this display of unity to become the one thing that could tear them apart.

Blending vaudeville, musical theatre, Cantonese Opera and martial arts, Slow Boat is a play within a play, inspired by the unexpected arrival in Australia of playwright Anna Yen’s father, along with 580 other Chinese men, during WWII.

无论是在战火连天的中国,还是布林巴忙碌不断的港口,兄弟情谊和坚韧的精神都会受到时代考验。

六位契约华裔工人为了庆祝太平洋战争的胜利,将会在布里斯班的布林巴港口举行一场戏剧表演。

然而,兄弟们在回顾关键事情上产生意见分歧,这不但危及他们的团结精神 ,更可能导致感情破裂而扬长而去。

《缓舟》是一出剧中剧,揉合了杂耍、音乐剧、粤剧和武术。故事启发于编剧甄锦意的父亲及其580名华裔男子于二战时意外抵达澳洲的经历。


REVIEWS 

Slow Boat is a powerful story about acceptance and resilience, highlighting the importance of friendship and cultural identity.” – Suzannah Conway, ArtsHub

“Slow Boat was a lovely motley of dichotomies, simple and complex, a fun time and a deep reflection, a fictional tale, a true history and a new re-imagining, and a whole lot of Australian and Chines cultural touchpoints all jammed into a couple hours on the cheap boards, presenting many worthy morsels to chew on for days to come.” – Nadia Jade, Nothing Ever Happens in Brisbane 

“It may be a blend of vaudeville, musical theatre, circus, Cantonese opera and martial arts, but, at its core, “Slow Boat” is all about story and its story is an inspirational one of triumph against the reality of our history.” – Blue Curtains Brisbane 

More Information

SEASON DATES

Thu 1 Sep – Sat 10 Sep 2022

VENUE

Powerhouse Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse

DURATION

2hrs 20min (including interval)

AGES

Suitable for 13+

PLAYWRIGHT

Anna Yen

DIRECTOR/DRAMATURG

Ian Lawson

ENSEMBLE DIRECTOR

Therese Collie

MUSICAL DIRECTOR & COMPOSER

Nicholas Ng

MOVEMENT DIRECTOR

Anna Yen

SET DESIGNER

Josh McIntosh

LIGHTING DESIGNER

David Walters

COSTUME DESIGNER

Frances Foo

SWING CHOREOGRAPHER

Neridah Waters

DIALECT COACH

Anna Chong

VOCAL CONSULTANT

Jonathan Chan

MUSICIANS

Yuren (Cara) Chen

Anna Kho

Ziwei Wang

BACKDROP ARTIST

Echo Wu

CANTONESE OPERA CONSULTANT

Amelia Wong

STAGE MANAGER

Nicola Jones

ASST. STAGE MANAGERS

Tiff Lane

Mei Yu See

CAST

Jonathan Chan

Ming Yang Lim

Nicholas Ng

Egan Sun-Bin

Silvan Rus

Julian Wong


Anna Yen

Anna Yen

Anna Yen is a performer, writer, movement teacher and theatre maker.

Anna was a finalist in the Queensland Premiere’s Drama Award 2018 with Slow Boat.  She was a writer / performer in the acclaimed The Serpent’s Table Griffin Theatre / CAAP, Sydney Festival 2014. Her award-winning play Chinese Take Away was produced by QPAC, and adapted into an SBS commissioned 52minute film by Looking Glass Pictures. Anna toured Chinese Take Away’s film adaptation with performance excerpts, to Asia, Europe and USA.

Performances credits include: Tower of Babel, Baran Theatre, Metro Arts 2019; Concerto for Harmony and Presto, Debase Productions, Shanghai International Arts Festival 2019; multi-award-winning Monsteria GUSH, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2018 and Wonderland Festival 2017; It All Begins With Love Creative Regions Queensland tour 2015; Electric Dragon Georgie Pinn, FedSq; Waterwheel Installation Igneous JWCoCA; Wicked Bodies La Boite/Zen Zen Zo, Fortune La Boite, After China QUT – Brisbane and Belvoir St; Load-ed Stories QTC-Ed; Rock’n’Roll Circus (now CIRCA) ensemble for 4 years; and The Case of All Things Taiwan. She will be seen as the Tea lady Goblin in Jim Henson Company and Storey Bridge Productions’ The Portable Door on Stan in 2023.

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Anna Yen teaches theatre-making, circus-physical-theatre, in communities, universities, companies, festivals and schools, including the Yeronga State High School – Y Connect Drama Project.  She is a certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, and teaches Awareness Through Movement at Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Her PlayMoves – Movement  Workshops for Performers have been presented in Cairns, Townsville, Magnetic Island, Maleny, Brisbane, Wollongong, Melbourne, Torquay, Hobart and Perth.

Awards include: Creative Partnerships Art and Health Award Qld (Playful Engagement Project), Matilda Awards for Chinese Take Away, and for Best Costume with GUSH’s Monsteria; Bank SA Adelaide Fringe Best Circus-Physical Theatre Weekly Award – Monsteria; and a Churchill Fellowship.

Anna’s training includes with Monika Pagneux, Philippe Gaulier, Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre, Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe, Shanghai Circus School.


Acknowledgements

A Playlab Theatre production presented in partnership with Brisbane Festival and Brisbane Powerhouse. Playlab Theatre is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Slow Boat is also supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative.