Today the full cast for Kimber Lee’s untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play directed by Royal Exchange Joint Artistic Director Roy Alexander Weise has been announced by Royal Exchange Theatre, Factory International on behalf of Manchester International Festival, Young Vic Theatre and Headlong.
Winner of the inaugural Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2019, International Award, this powerful production will receive its world premiere at the Royal Exchange Theatre as part of MIF23 (24 June – 22 July 2023), before transferring to the Young Vic Theatre in London (18 September – 4 November 2023). Tickets are on sale now.
Olivier Award nominee Mei Mac (My Neighbour Totoro) leads an ensemble cast as Kim, with Lourdes Faberes (Boiling Point) as Rosie / Cio-Cio, Jennifer Kirby (Call the Midwife) as Evelyn / Richards, Tom Weston-Jones (Sanditon) as Clark, Rochelle Rose (Rockets and Blue Lights) as the Narrator / Brenda and Jeff D’Sangalang (The Ocean At The End Of The Lane) as Afi/Goro.
‘Very well. I will do what I must do, Mother.’
Kim (Mei Mac) is having one of those days. A terrible, very bad, no-good kind of day, and the worst part is…it all feels so familiar. Caught up in a never-ending cycle of events, she looks for the exit but the harder she tries, the worse it gets and she begins to wonder: who’s writing this story? She makes a break for it, smashing through a hundred years of bloody narratives that all end the same way. Can she find a way out before it’s too late?
With breathless hilarity untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play jumps through time – wriggling inside of and then exploding lifetimes of repeating Asian stereotypes, wrestling history for the right to control your own narrative in a world that thinks it can tell you who you are.
untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play is designed by Khadija Raza with costume design by Loren Elstein, lighting design by Josh Pharo, composition by Ruth Chan, sound design by Giles Thomas, movement by Shelley Maxwell, fight and intimacy direction by Haruka Kuroda, Jerwood Assistant Director is Caroline Yu and casting by Helena Palmer CDG.
Mei Mac says: “I’m thrilled to be bringing Kimber Lee’s play to life. It’s a bold and delicious opportunity to reclaim the narrative of East and South East Asian women in the diaspora, from years of dehumanisation and denied agency. It’s empowering to explore the conversations I’ve had with my sisters and in my communities with a wider audience in such a fun, spicy, theatrical way. A genre, timeline defying way. Because that’s what’s so exciting about this play; its refusal to be reduced by the patriarchy and its determination to take full autonomy.”
Kimber Lee says: “I cannot wait to get in the rehearsal room with this wonderful cast! A play craves embodiment, and I’m looking forward to getting to know these incredibly gifted actors, and seeing how each person brings their humor, intelligence and passion to the process.“
Roy Alexander Weise says: “When I first read Kimber’s play it blew me away and I knew we had to programme it. We received it on the first day of our tenure so it’s serendipitous that it’s my last production as Artistic Director. It’s the greatest privilege to be asked to direct this brilliantly funny, uniquely voiced and skilfully crafted masterpiece. We’ve pulled together an amazing team to shape the story ready for the stage. The cast are fantastic and I can’t wait to get into a rehearsal room and to show the world how f*cking funny Kimber’s play is. I can’t wait!”