Michelle Yim appears in Mooncake, released 22nd July, and kicks off the final half of the second season of Written on the Waves, a series of audio plays celebrating unheard voices and emerging talent.
Mooncake was created by Nicola T. Chang and Isabella Leung and is performed by Heather Lai (Michelle), Tony Tang (Dad), Rebecca Yeo (Joey) and Michelle Yim (Mum).
The second season of Written on the Waves comprises of 8 world première audio plays. The second half of the season follows an extremely successful first half, which are all available now via www.forty-fivenorth.com/writtenonthewaves, along with the entire first season.
You’re appearing in Mooncake, what can you tell us about the play?
It’s a charming and moving piece about family, the experiences of settling away from home, the support of friends, mixed with the challenges against prejudice and racism, but importantly it’s set during the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival so the “MOONCAKE” is the very food that ties everything together. It’s also a binaural piece, so expect to be immersed in the wonderful sounds and music of the story.
Tell us about your character, what has challenged you most with this role?
I play ‘Mum’ – during rehearsal we noted how we were able to find reflections of our Chinese mothers in the character. To be very honest I have recently accepted that I’ve hit the older age category, and it was heart-warming to be offered a part which is so familiar, but I also want to make sure I wasn’t only channelling my own mother in the role so that’s probably what is challenging is to own the character and not make it caricature.
What have you enjoyed most about working on an audio play?
Everything! It was wonderful and a great experience to work with the talented sound artist Nicola Chang and the insightful performer and director Isabella Leung (they collaborated and created the play together).
The cast includes the delightful Heather Lai and prolific Rebecca Yeo, bringing the central characters to life with charm and authenticity, and also Tony Tang providing a comedic performance as ‘Dad’. And we were all in the safe hands of producer Emily Carewe from 45North. It was also my first time working on a binaural piece and the process of recording was also very immersive for myself as an actor!
Why do you think audio plays still have an important place in the industry even as theatres start to reopen?
Audio plays have become more prominent during the pandemic but radio dramas have always had a place in the industry and will continue. However, I believe the brilliance of modern technology has elevated audio dramas to become more accessible and engaging. Whilst there’s still uncertainty within the industry it’s also an exciting time for the development of theatre in other forms.
How do you think The Written on the Waves season has kept performance alive during this difficult time?
I feel very fortunate because with live performances not permitted, I half expected I’d be starving at home. But The Written on the Waves season has opened virtual doors for creatives to make work and 45North’s commissions have offered us the wonderful opportunity to keep creating, connecting and collaborating. I’m really grateful to be involved in the season and to be part of it.
What would you say to anyone thinking of listening to Mooncake?
Don’t think – join us now and be prepared to be taken on a personal and intercultural journey! I hope you will enjoy the play as much as we enjoyed bringing it to life.