• Amy Toledano

Overheard presented by CAN Festival

What is it?

Three short plays written by Joel Tan, set in Wun's Tea Room & Bar London, as the audience dines and watches on.

What is it about?

Overheard explores different aspects of East Asian culture and perceptions of this is British culture. There is a British businesswoman trying her best to get through a meeting with a huge client from Shanghai, the two middle class women who have just been on a trip to Thailand and expect to be served Pad Thai in a Malaysian Laksa Restaurant, and the Singaporean artist who has been offered a grant to create work that has political undertones she had not expected.

The action plays out on a central table in the space as the audience sit around them, being served by the restaurant staff and observing the action.

How did it make me feel?

This unique experience is brilliant in it's form. The action feels natural and it is exciting to be in amongst it. The content is interesting and plays into and again stereotypes of what it means to be Asian, and confirms that these stereotypes extend to those with Asian descent, and those who have grown up in western countries.

The performances are strong, but sadly the writing is what feels stilted and at times, very on the nose. That being said there are some moments that really work, but with the more comedic scenes, things have a singular punchline, and the pieces tend to drag on.

The direction by Mingyu Lin is deft and uses the space well, giving the show a sense of intimacy despite us looking in on the action taking place.

Where is it playing?

Wun's Tea Room & Bar, Greek Street, London is the ideal setting for this innovative piece. It feels familiar and informal and the Bellini's are a delicious addition to your experience!

Anything Else?

A brilliant concept, that simply needs a slightly sharper focus on what it is trying to achieve in the writing, but with some really lovely moments.

Amy x

Amy x

Overheard is playing at Wun’s Tea Room until the 23rd February 2020.

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