A Walsall playwright has seen one of his plays given a workshop presentation in front of a specially-limited number of guests with VIP tickets and then streamed for China West Midlands and Arts Council England. The guests, who represented Chinese cultural organisations across the region, took part in a Q & A session with the five professional Chinese actors with feedback going back to the Arts Council. The event was staged by the charity Blue Orange Arts who create cutting edge drama.
"I was asked to write a trilogy entitled Home explained Walsall playwright and poet Ian Henery "from both British and Chinese perspectives. The idea would be to look at concepts of time, place, identity and family from different socio-economic perspectives across 100 years but CO VID-19 has changed the landscape of the performing arts industry".
The trilogy begins with one of the least-known stories of the First World War. The moving and surprising story of the Chinese Labour Corps, who volunteered to travel thousands of miles to help in a war they knew little about, was performed by the professional Chinese actors and 6 drama students from the Midlands Academy of Musical Theatre. Loyalty, colonialism and romance combine in Ian`s new play based on true events.
"We presented the Chinese Labour Corps as a workshop presentation" explained Ian "because of COVID restrictions. We worked with the professional actors and students for a week with a R & D grant from Arts Council England. We wanted to develop the script. We invited people to view the presentation and help us by providing honest feedback. Criticism is very welcome. We are hoping to develop the play, when restrictions allow, into a full production and tour."
China West Midlands is a charity which strengthens connections in business, education, culture, arts and sports for deeper understanding, greater collaboration and mutual prosperity between the West Midlands and China. Ian`s play, the Chinese Labour Corps, is inspired by real-life stories and is based, on part, on the extraordinary and long life of Dr Y.C. James Yen, the founder of the International Institute of Rural regeneration and the China Mass Education Movement. He was one of the 10 most influential people of the 20th century together with Henry Ford, Albert Einstein and Walt Disney. he taught 200 million Chinese people to read.
"our original intention was to perform the presentation to a live audience" said Ian Henery "but due to COVID restrictions we streamed the presentation instead. To view the performance for free go to:
Date and time of presentation
Saturday 26th September
Member since: 4th February 2019
Managing Director of an award winning law firm
Ian Henery Solicitors Ltd
Award winning poet and playwright