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National Theatre of Parramatta and Merrigong Theatre Company Presents A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SELF DEFENCE

Performances run from 20th to 29th October 2022 and 9th to 12th November 2022.

National Theatre of Parramatta and Merrigong Theatre Company Presents A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SELF DEFENCE

Riverside's National Theatre of Parramatta (NTofP) and Merrigong Theatre Company is thrilled to present the world premiere of A Practical Guide to Self Defence, a poignant perspective on "how to defeat the beast within", at Riverside Theatres from 20th to 29th October 2022 and 9th to 12th November 2022 at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre.

A Practical Guide to Self Defence is a witty and action-packed account of growing up Asian in '80s Australia. Part play, part instructional guide, it is sprinkled with practical demonstrations, like how to trip and how to fall as we hurtle towards our existential contradiction-defeating the beast within.

Australian-Chinese playwright, Hung-Yen Yang, deftly blends creative storytelling, martial arts and multimedia, as he takes us on a time-travelling journey with his younger self to witness his unlikely transformation from pacifist, asthmatic geek to brutal fighting machine.

Hung-Yen Yang said "My play centres on soon-to-be-father 'Old Yen' presenting his secrets to self-defence. He is joined by his cheeky younger self, 'Young Yen', to understand what turned a geeky, asthmatic child into a brutal fighting machine. Informed by my own experiences growing up in 70's Wollongong and 80's Sydney, the play explores the roots and legacies of colonisation, identity, and racism. An action-packed comedy with nuanced layers of sub-text and pathos, this play can be enjoyed on many levels, bringing an innovative and authentic take on the age-old dilemma: how to defeat the beast within?"

Starring Alan Zhu (STC's Death of a Salesman) and Edric Hong (Bowie Productions and Chippen St Theatre's Love Addict), this modern, funny, and deeply relatable play examines how everyday racism over the decades shapes decisions both good and bad.

NTofP Executive Producer, Joanne Kee added, "Yen delivers a powerful story about bullying and being bullied in an action packed, martial arts and manga mix, engaging audiences with digital animations, the artwork of Yen our playwright through to thousand-year-old traditions of ceremonial greetings."

Merrigong's Artistic Director / CEO Simon Hinton added, "We are proud to have supported the development of this deeply personal new work by Hung-Yen Yang over the last few years. Merrigong is excited to bring such a witty and deeply relatable production to audiences in the Illawarra and delighted to be working with the team at National Theatre of Parramatta as co-producers".


Playwright: Hung-Yen Yang (Yen) Director: Dom Mercer Cast: Alan Zhu & Edric Hong Production and Set Designer: Kelsey Lee Composer and Sound Designer: Zac Saric LX and Video Designer: Morgan Moroney Stage Manager: Adrienne Patterson Assistant Director: Brooke Lee


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