Moongate+Yellow Earth Announce Cast For Daniel York Loh's FORGOTTEN
The cast for Moongate and Yellow's Earth's production Forgotten is announced as Rebecca Boey, Jon Chew, Camille Mallet De Chauny, Michael Phong Le, Leo Wan and Zachary Hing. A new play by British East Asian playwright and actor Daniel York Loh, Forgotten is inspired by the incredible yet little known story of World War One's Chinese Labour Corps.
1917. Shandong Province, Northern China. Times are tough in Horse Shoe Village. Old Six and Second Moon struggle to earn enough to feed their young child. Big Dog struggles to overcome opium addiction and for Eunuch Lin, the fall of the Imperial Dynasty couldn't have come at a worse time. Could a fierce war far away in Europe present an opportunity to put both themselves and their struggling nation on its feet?
At the height of World War One, 140,000 Chinese men left everything and travelled half way around the world to work for Britain and the Allies behind the front lines. Their involvement was considered potentially pivotal in the outcome of the war yet remains largely untold, written out of history.
Daniel York Loh, playwright, Forgotten: 'The story of the Chinese Labour Corps is such a powerful chapter in Chinese and European relations that I was amazed it had been literally written out of the history books on all sides. There is a tendency to objectify, anonymise and dehumanise East Asian people so I wanted to bring to life the hopes, fears, dreams, stories and songs of the Chinese Labour Corps. To take the audience on the extraordinary journey that these men took - across oceans, continents, and cultures that arguably changed the course of history.'
Kim Pearce, director, Forgotten: 'Daniel and I first met following The Orphan of Zhao casting controversy at the RSC to discuss appropriately casting the 20th century Chinese classic plays that I wanted to produce. This was the beginning of a journey through which I have forged invaluable partnerships with actors, playwrights, creatives and producers from the British East Asian artistic community, leading to many exciting new projects. I am thrilled to at last direct one of Daniel's plays and am looking forward to further exploring this incredible unknown story with the cast and companies.'
Zhen Lin, Artistic Director, Moongate: 'Moongate is committed to putting British East Asian actors at the heart of compelling narratives so we are thrilled to present Forgotten. The play is a tough, tender, and savagely poetic portrayal of human beings caught in a terrifying war in just about the most alien environment possible desperately clinging to their own existence and what makes their lives matter.'
Kumiko Mendl, Artistic Director, Yellow Earth: 'When I first heard about the Chinese Labour Corps and their involvement in the First World War, I knew it was a story that had to be told - especially as no-one seemed to know anything about it. It is important that this hidden East Asian story feature in the WW1 commemorations so we are delighted to be working with Moongate to bring Forgotten to the stage this year.'
The playtext will be published by Oberon Books to coincide with its premiere.
Venue: Arcola Theatre
Dates + times: Tue 23 Oct - Sat 17 Nov at 8pm + 3.30pm Saturday matinees
Tickets: £12 - £22
Box office: 020 7503 1646 / www.arcolatheatre.com
Creatives: Kim Pearce, director; Emma Bailey, designer; Jessica Hung Han Yung, lighting designer; Liz Liew, composer; Luke Swaffield, sound; Quang Kien Van, movement director.