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M

ichelle Law is an award-winning writer who has penned

essays, co-authored a book, written screenplays and a blog,

but she admits she found the task of writing her first play

a challenge. In fact, she may never even have thought of writing the

play if she hadn’t answered an open callout to attend one of a series

of workshops held in capital cities around the country initiated

by Playwriting Australia and Contemporary Asian Australian

Performance (CAAP). It wasn’t until they were immersed in the

workshops, hosted by La BoiteTheatre Company in Brisbane,

going through the drill of exercises and scene development that

Law thought she had a story to build on.

Anyone who has read her blog may have wondered what took

her so long. As a 26-year-old single Asian female Law has plenty to

say. She has grown up with, and laid bare, many personal challenges

and isn’t afraid to speak her mind on feminism and diversity, which

she strongly supports. And anyone who follows her twitter feed will

also know when she’s bingeing on

Frozen

reruns, streaming ’90s hits

or admiring Amy Poehler’s latest work.

Nevertheless Law didn’t take the easy way out and translate

her blog to the stage. While certain themes may ring true – for

example, Law was bullied at school and so is the character Mei in

the play – Law insists that the characters and the scenarios in

Single

Asian Female

are fictionalised…and above all it’s a story told with

a wicked sense of humour.

The play is set behind-the-scenes of a suburban Chinese

restaurant where a family of whip smart women are

definitely talking about you in their native tongue behind

their smiles! The three women are at key stages of their lives

– high school, prime child-bearing years and menopause

– and all grappling with issues from the pressure of

choosing between fertility and career goals, to navigating

high school and girl gang politics, to trying to survive an

abusive relationship. It’s about sisters at odds with each

other, frenemies undermining each other, and a mother

trying to overcome generational and cultural gaps to

connect with her daughters.

“It challenges the stereotype of Asian women being reserved

and meek people. I want people to see a story about Asian

women or women of colour telling their own story, and realise

they are three dimensional people who have complex inner

lives just like everyone else but you never see that on stage

or screen. They are irreverent, funny, loud, unashamed and

defy everything you might think about what Asian women

are and what they value,” Law says. And in the karaoke

scene you just might be expected to sing along.

32

| BNE January/February 2017

WHAT’S ON

Spotlight on

single

Asian

female

No more

secrets

What’s happened to WikiLeaks?

Once hailed as a champion of truth

and transparency, the organisation

and its founder Julian Assange

more recently have been criticised

for irresponsible info dumping,

colluding with Russian authorities,

pro-Trump bias and anti-Semitism.

Maybe Assange will be able answer

that question during a real-time

live Q&A interview conducted

via videolink from the Embassy of

Ecuador in London where he has

been holed up for four years.

Julian

Assange: No more secrets, no more

lies

will be streamed to the Brisbane

Convention and Exhibition Centre,

6pm, 18 February. Tickets from $27.64

plus fees. For more information see

www.bcec.com.au/whats-on/

LEGENDS LIVE

These artists have

been loved by

fans for more than

four decades and

it’s a privilege to

see them perform

live on stage and

prove that good

music never stops

trending ... what a

fab February

Taylor on the Green

James Taylor’s music has influenced

songwriters and music lovers for five decades

but while he has earned five Grammy Awards

and sold more than 100 million albums, his

latest album

Before This World

is his first to

top the charts. Taylor will play songs from

the album and more with his All Star Band

at A Day On The Green, Sirromet Wines, Mt

Cotton, 11 February 2017. Tickets from $117.08

plus fees. See

www.livenation.com.au

Parkinson’s tribute

Many of Joe Cocker’s most memorable songs

were reinventions of the originals – ‘You Can

Leave Your Hat On’, ‘You Are So Beautiful’,

‘Unchain My Heart’ – and now Doug Parkinson,

with a trademark smoky soulful voice of his

own, pays tribute to the late singer with a mix

of hits by The Beatles, Ray Charles, Stevie

Wonder and more at the Concert Hall, QPAC,

South Brisbane, 4 February. Tickets from

$79.90 plus fees. See

www.qpac.com.au

Single Asian Female

, at La Boite Roundhouse

Theatre, Kelvin Grove, 11 February to 4 March. Meet

the artist 22 February. Tickets from $30 plus fees. See

www.laboite.com.au

Photography by Tammy Law