If opening an umbrella inside really is bad luck, I fear for the Under The Umbrella team, because these rehearsal images of the world premiere, coming to the Belgrade Theatre from 2 to 16 March 2019, show the cast and creative team throwing caution to the wind popping their parasols without fear. Take a look then book your tickets!
Following its opening in the midlands, the co-production between the Belgrade Theatre, Tamasha and Yellow Earth tours to Poole Lighthouse (19 March), Unity Theatre (21-23 March) and Tara Theatre (26-30 March).
Set in Coventry and Guangzhou, Under The Umbrella tells the story of Wei, a young Chinese woman living and studying in the UK.
As the single Wei approaches her 27th birthday, her grandmother begins to worry that she will be labelled a “shengnu” or “leftover woman”, and decides to intervene. Unbeknownst to Wei, her grandmother pushes her mother into helping with the search for a suitable husband. Affixing Wei’s profile onto an umbrella, they join the hundreds of parents at the Marriage Market where the only successful transaction is a first date for your child. Torn between the conflicting expectations of her family and her life in the UK, can Wei navigate a path between them without losing sight of her own hopes and ambitions?
Mei Mac leads the cast as Wei. Mac has previously appeared in productions including Wolf Totem, The Apology and Thatcher in China. She’s joined in the cast by Laura Tipper (City of the Unexpected, National Theatre Wales), Charlotte Chiew (Love in Newsprint, Arcola Theatre) and Minhee Yeo (Mountains: The Dreams of Lily Kwok, Royal Exchange Theatre and Yellow Earth).
Under The Umbrella playwright Amy Ng is a graduate of both Oxford and Yale universities whose previous plays include Shangri-La (Finborough Theatre) and Acceptance (Hampstead Theatre). She has been a member of writers groups at Tamasha, the Young Vic, the Criterion and the Royal Court, and is currently on attachment with Yellow Earth.
The production is 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.
Under The Umbrella runs at the Belgrade Theatre as part of a spring season that also includes The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Tamasha’s production of Ishy Din’s Approaching Empty and Emma Rice’s stage adaptation of Angela Carter’s Wise Children.
Under The Umbrella runs from 2 to 16 March at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Corporation St, Coventry CV1 1GS. Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.45pm, with an extra performance on 4 March at 7.45pm and matinees on 9, 14 & 16 March at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £12-£14.75. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!