SUmmer rolls R&D presentaion
Following hugely successful scratch performances of the play in 2013 (Tamasha, Rich Mix) and 2016 (Yellow Earth, Soho Theatre), Tuyen Do presents a newly developed script of the UK’s first bilingual Vietnamese/English play.
Summer Rolls is a blistering family drama that spans from 1989 to 2002 and seen through the eyes of Mai, a young British Vietnamese girl as she navigates her dual identity as a second -generation immigrant and comes of age. Mai realises very young that her family is nursing deep wounds and secrets. They have escaped from a war- torn country and their individual journeys and memories have left scars that Mai was too young to know. Mother, an ambitious and feisty survivor drives her son Anh to fulfil the hopes of the family while ruling Mai with her sharp tongue and stories of her suffering. Father’s voice has diminished after spending five years in a POW camp and he seeks refuge in religion and confession. As Mr Vu enters their world in the guise of a ‘saviour’; the two families’ fortunes become inextricably linked.
Embracing her family’s silence; Mai turns to photography and in capturing ‘essential’ moments finds herself a chronicler of her community’s experiences and an essential catalyst to her family’s healing.
Powerful, funny, and poignant; Writer Tuyen Do captures the complex political landscape that has brought the Vietnamese communities to Britain’s shore; as well as the contribution that they have made to the British palate and society.
Tuyen is compelled to tell this untold story both for her community to see themselves reflected on stage and for British theatre to bear witness to the culturally specific setting of this universal story of family ties, love and human survival.
As August Wilson says about his exploration of the unique particulars of black culture:
‘I wanted to place this culture on stage in all its richness and fullness and to demonstrate its ability to sustain us…….. through profound moments in our history in which the larger society has thought less of us than we have thought of ourselves’