Vera Chok’s new play, Rice!, will be performed live in London and Malaysia while audiences enjoy a meal cooked with ingredients delivered to their homes.
Audiences are being invited to cook and enjoy a meal as part of a new online show telling the story of a woman torn between British and East Asian cultures.
Rice!, written by Vera Chok, will be performed live in locations in both Malaysia and the UK in February, connecting East and West via Zoom. It will star Amanda Ang and Michelle Wen Lee.
Set in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in the 1990s and London in 2021, the production uses a mix of food, storytelling and song to explore the experiences of Connie Cheng, a Malaysian-born Chinese woman who emigrates to the UK.
Audiences can opt to be sent a package of simple ingredients in advance, with printed instructions, for preparing before the show, allowing them to fill their homes with the aromas of Chinese five-spice and literally to get a taste of Connie’s life. Alternatively, they can join a one-hour pre-show virtual cooking class to prepare their light meal.
The show is a joint production between Omnibus Theatre in Clapham in London and Wayang Kitchen, a new Malaysia-based theatre company that fuses food and performance. Its founders, Hester Welch and Razif Hashim, will direct this production from their respective countries, working around the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rice! is described as “a story of migration, the delicate existence of life between two cultures and the food that shapes it”, asking how do you hold onto the past while looking towards the future.
It is supported by The British Council Digital Collaboration Fund, which supports UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop digitally innovative ways of collaborating. The food is provided by Wiltshire-based 5 Foot Way, a specialist in East Asian street food.
The one-hour show will be performed live at lunchtime on 20, 21, 27 and 28 February 2021, bookable via www.omnibus-clapham.org.
There are three ticket options: £10 for just the performance, £16 for the performance plus the food kit for one to two people, or £20 for the performance plus the food kit for three to four people. The food packages also include access to the one-hour pre-show virtual cooking class.