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Cultural misunderstandings, confused backpackers, an estranged family and a wayward Hong Kong matriarch who arrives in New Zealand uninvited for her granddaughter’s wedding.
There’ll be lots of laughs, some tears and a lot of love when award-winning play ‘Under the Same Moon’ takes to the stage at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre’s X Space on September 7.
Drawing on her own family’s stories and the memories of both her grandmothers, playwright Renee Liang describes the show as a “love letter” that is suitable for everyone – young and old.
“Nearly all of the crazy things in the play happened either happened to me, my grandmothers who are big colourful personalities, or to people I know.
“Nearly everything has some real life basis, but centred on one character,” says Renee.
“The central character is the grandmother Porpor and the feedback I get is everybody has that kind of grandmother; a mischievous old lady who won’t do as she’s told, has her own opinions about everything, but is also very wise and has lived in a wonderfully unconventional way.”
‘Under the Same Moon’ is a “one-hander” play, which stars Kiwi actress Hweiling Ow – who has starred in ‘Filthy Rich’, ‘My Wedding’ and ‘Other Secrets’, who plays all of the show’s nine characters.
Renee wrote the show specifically for Hweiling, who she describes as an immensely talented actress and a good friend.
“Hweiling doesn’t use masks or costume changes, she portrays the different characters through changing her voice, walk and posture. She’s so good people forget they’ve been watching the same actress all night.
“Her daughter watched the show when it debuted last year and got so caught up in the play she cried when the grandmother Porpor gets on the plane to leave; she forgot that she was watching her own mum on-stage,” says Renee.
Arts on Tour New Zealand’s ‘Under the Same Moon’ by Renee Lianga is at Baycourt’s X Space on Wednesday, September 7. Tickets cost $10-$25 from the Baycourt Box Office or t: www.ticketek.co.nz. For more information, see: www.samemoon.c.nz
The Weekend Sun has three double passes to give away to three lucky readers who can tell us how many characters Hweiling Ow plays in ‘Under the Same Moon’?
All entries must be received by Wednesday, August 17.