<![CDATA[ My Site - Blog]]>Sat, 27 Feb 2016 04:08:46 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Meet the fish #6... the writer]]>Sun, 23 Aug 2015 11:16:23 GMThttp://bubblelands.weebly.com/blog/meet-the-fish-6-the-writer
Renee Liang interviewed by Maria Ji from Tearaway magazine (unpublished outtakes, now published!):

What was the genesis of this play?

My dad made a point of taking me to the wet markets in Hong Kong when I was a little girl, and we've always enjoyed seafood in Chinese restaurants, so the idea of eating recently alive, super-fresh seafood is pretty normal to me.  But over the years I've started questioning how necessary it is to keep seafood in crowded tanks, potentially stressing them out before they are eaten. I'm also uncomfortable choosing fish to be killed, especially the large ones who have lived for many years. But my parents really love fresh seafood, so I've made a deal with them that we only do the live fish thing on special occasions instead of every time. I'm also keen that my kids see where our food comes from - that way they value it more.

So this play is kind of exploring these feelings further. Theatre is pretty out-there, hyperreal, and surround- 3D. It's also heaps of fun - think people in giant fish costumes hip hop dancing, and singing rip off versions of the Sponge Bob song.
  * What drew you to write this in a fish tank in a Chinese restaurant? And how did you decide on the species of the characters? Is there a meaning behind the blue cod and crayfish?

Blue cod and crayfish are two of the most popular fish in Chinese restaurants (I like eating them.) They're also colourful with weird habits (sex change anyone?) so pretty fascinating to get inside the mind of and write about.
 
What thoughts informed the decision to integrate physical comedy?

It was a no-brainer really... once you make the decision to cast people as fish, the clowning and physical comedy are the natural result. Also, once you're talking about two fish in a potentially lethal situation (I mean there's nowhere for them to go) then you are asking some pretty big questions. The fish are just the excuse to explore some ideas I have about life, and the power of belief, and knowledge....all great theatrical themes.

What are some strengths that your cast of two - the talented Hweiling Ow and Benjamin Teh - bring to the stage and story?

 
Hweiling and Ben have amazing physical comedy skills, and I wrote the play for them knowing that.  They're friends and know each other really well so I can make them do really awkward things in the script.  They're also incredibly funny and warm as people and actors. Ben is a great hip hop dancer so I pretty much had to make him do some of that - in a crayfish costume.
 
In a video your co-producer emphasised the desire for Bubblelands not to be defined as a “cultural Asian play”. Would you say that this is an attempt to break through a kind of glass ceiling in theatre?

...or a glass tank?  I think we're always trying to defy the stereotypes. People expect one thing, so you blow them out of the water with something else. I'm super chuffed if I can do this as a writer. Ditto with the actors. At the end of the day, we'd like to be known as good at what we do, and able to move people with our story - what ethnicity/gender/age we are doesn't (or shouldn't) count.

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<![CDATA[meet the fish #5 - the co producer]]>Fri, 21 Aug 2015 00:42:15 GMThttp://bubblelands.weebly.com/blog/meet-the-fish-5-the-co-producer
What's your favourite type of seafood? Why? 

Unagi. It brings about a state of total awareness.  

Do you think fish have feelings?


Just because we can't see their tears in all that water, doesn't mean they can't cry. Anatomically they can't, sure, but that's not the point.  

What's your role on the team?


Co-producer. 

How are you preparing/working in your role? any challenges you've found?

You work when no-one's watching. It's great! Problem-solving right before bedtime really knocks you out.  

How long have you been a producer and what have been some favourite past shows?

A few years. A musical I wrote and directed called VIP: Vanity Isn't Permanent, Wayward Seniors in The Big Rethink, and the ARENA creative arts showcase.

What's the craziest thing you've ever found yourself doing in theatre?

Playing a little boy.  

Will you eat live fish after this?

No.
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<![CDATA[Meet the fish #3]]>Mon, 17 Aug 2015 17:55:06 GMThttp://bubblelands.weebly.com/blog/august-17th-2015
What's your favourite type of seafood? Why?

I really like garlic prawns. Like, really like them. Like, depending on how big the prawns are, might be willing to get into a physical altercation for them.

Do you think fish have feelings?

More like, do I feel that fish have thoughts? Probably yes to both. Kinda. But not enough to bother me when I go to seafood restaurants.

What's your role in the play?

To get my crayon.

How are you preparing/working in your role? Any challenges you've found?

Sometimes there is too much swagger that spills over into my daily life.

How long have you been an actor and what have been some favourite past shows?

Hmm. Uni. Which feels like both a lifetime ago and merely yesterday. Performing? playing a quack in The Bone Feeder, and touring the country.

What's the craziest thing you've ever found yourself doing in theatre?

I once dislocated my shoulder on stage. Oh! I once also sliced open another actor on stage.

Will you eat live fish after this?

I'm not keen on eating live anything. I'm very much eating dead things. Dead... and usually cooked things.

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<![CDATA[Meet the fish #2... the designer]]>Fri, 14 Aug 2015 17:03:45 GMThttp://bubblelands.weebly.com/blog/meet-the-fish-2-the-designer
Meet Sarah Burren, costume designer and passionate marine environmental champion...

What's your favourite type of seafood? Why?
Prawns! Because of the delicious taste and texture.

Do you think fish have feelings?
Definitely! In fact they have a very high nervous system.

What's your role on the team?
Costume designer and creator.

How are you preparing/working in your role? any challenges you've found?
Working with good planning and having good communication has been key!  

How long have you been a Costume Designer and what have been some favourite past shows?
This is my 32nd year as a Freelance Costume Designer! Most recently ATC’s THE LOLLY WITCH FROM MUMULAND and BAD JELLY THE WITCH and the immersive underwater experience with Little Green Man Productions ..JOURNEY TO THE DEEP!  

What's the craziest thing you've ever found yourself doing in theatre?
It's all crazy!  

Will you eat live fish after this?
I would never eat live fish anyway!
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<![CDATA[Meet the fish#1]]>Wed, 12 Aug 2015 17:12:42 GMThttp://bubblelands.weebly.com/blog/meet-the-fish1
Do you think fish have feelings?

Yes. We laugh, we cry, we get angry with the ocean.

What's your role in the play?

I play the Blue Cod.

How are you preparing/working in your role? any challenges you've found?

I eat - a lot of fish. Picking the bones out is quite a challenge.

How long have you been an actor/actress and what have been some favourite past shows?


I've been a Blue Cod for 2 years. Most interesting theatre was when the shark went for Mick Fanning. He was pushing the boundaries of realism.

What's the craziest thing you've ever found yourself doing in theatre?


Pretending to be human.

Will you eat live fish after this?


Yes - but only the small ones. They don't feel anything.
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