Unconventional would be the best way to describe “From Shore To Shore”, a play acted out in the centre of Manchester’s Yang Sing Restaurant while an audience of over sixty people sit around the perimeter. Still, given the unconvential nature of the play, the fact that all dates of this run of performances have sold-out pays testament to the popularity of the show which is followed by time to discuss the play with fellow attendees all while enjoying a quaity Chinese meal in the same surroundings.
The play itself is based on true life stories and experiences of Chinese people living in Leeds and Yorkshire. At first it’s hard to get a handle on how the three stories all tie together as there is much switching between World War II and more modern times. However, once you get to grips with the various stories and how the characters fit together, their stories quickly become more enthralling than confusing. Dealing with family relationships, racism, culture, Chinese beliefs and much more, as each characters story unfolds, their experiences are tinged with humour, sadness, happiness and disbelief. Exploring the challenges the characters face as they grow up in Yorkshire, the cast flit between characters as their stories conclude in one positive heartwarming finale. At first, it takes a little while to fully understand quite where the play is heading with each of the stories but, quite quickly, you find yourself completely immersed in the different hardships faced by each of the characters and how they deal with them.
From Shore To Shore is a play that will have you laughing, crying and thinking and, while it might not be to everyone’s taste, this unique play is something that will give you plenty of food for thought and where better place for that than in a top Chinese restaurant?
From Shore to Shore will run from 9-16 March at the Yang Sing Restaurant, Manchester and will then tour to Angel Restaurant, Liverpool (19-20 March); Wong’s Kitchen at Lancaster University, The Dukes Theatre and The Hothouse in Morecambe (21-24 March); Palace Garden, Newcastle (26-30 March) and finally the Chung Ying Cantonese and Chinese Community Centre in Birmingham (2-6 April).
From Shore to Shore is supported by Arts Council England and the Confucius Institutes at University of Manchester, University of Lancaster, University of Liverpool, Newcastle University.
For more info visit www.fromshoretoshore.co.uk