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Summer Rolls, the first British Vietnamese play to be staged in the UK - Park Theatre

Summer Rolls

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SUMMER Rolls, the first British Vietnamese play to be staged in the UK, runs at Park Theatre (Park90) from June 19 to July 13, 2019.

That girl. She always makes me shout. If we’re not careful, she’ll turn rotten like an English child.

Mai is impulsive, intelligent, independent and growing up fast. As well as realising from a young age that her family are nursing deep wounds and secrets, she also has to navigate her dual identity as a second generation immigrant.

Having escaped war-torn Vietnam, her family’s individual journeys and memories have left scars that Mai was too young to understand. Embracing their silence, Mai’s camera becomes a conduit through which her journey of discovery begins.

Summer Rolls, by critically-acclaimed actress Tuyen Do (National Theatre’s The Great Wave) is a sweeping family saga that examines the Nguyen family’s life in Britain. The work explores the themes of identity, the relationship between first and second generation immigrant families and the differences of perspective and outlook that separate parents and offspring.

Nearly fifty years since Britain welcomed the arrival of Vietnamese refugees, Summer Rolls tells an unknown story and marks a seminal moment as the first British Vietnamese play to be staged in the United Kingdom.

Tuyen Do is an actor, writer, and workshop leader who enjoys working with actors and emerging artists to create new work. Acting stage credits include: Pah-La (The Royal Court), The Great Wave (National Theatre), Unbroken (Rich Mix), Golden Child (New Diorama) and The Grammar of Love (Oval House). Her screen work includes: Different For Girls (Jackdaw productions), The One’s Below (BBC, Tigerlily and Cuba Films), 24: LAD (Fox), and award-winning short films Healthy, Cross Your Fingers and My Dad the Communist.

As a writer, she has been part of the Royal Court’s studio group and Tamasha Playwrights (both global leaders in new writing). Her work has been performed with Tamasha, Kali, and Yellow Earth theatre company and her short film Healthy screened internationally and won honorable mention for Best Short, and Best Supporting Actor at the Asians on Film Festival in LA 2014. Her directing debut, short film Above the Waist earned her a Best Director nomination. Much of her creative work stems from her British Vietnamese roots.

Summer Rolls is her first full-length play going to full production. Initially developed by Tamasha theatre company in 2012, the show has been slowly evolving ever since. The play comes from Tuyen Do’s own experience growing up in England, and is an exploration of family, trauma, and identity. Powerful, funny, and poignant, 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.

Presented by VanThanh Productions in association with Park Theatre , Summer Rolls is directed by Kristine Landon-Smith and has set and costume design by Moi Tran.

Also in Park90: the world premiere production of political satire Hell Yes I’m Tough Enough (April 24 to May 18) and Beneath The Blue Rinse, a wickedly funny, high octane comedy about growing old passionately and disgracefully (May 21 to June 15, 2019).

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7870 6876 or visit www.parktheatre.co.uk/.