Rice! is an immersive dining experience, a collaboration between Wayang Kitchen in Kuala Lumpur and Omnibus Theatre in London, telling the story of Connie Cheng, a Malaysian who contemplates her life decisions with the trials and tribulations of settling in the UK, reflected with how food has shaped her intercultural experience. The interactive show comes with the option of just the performance or the Concubine Experience.
Rice!: The Intercultural Experience of A Malaysian Migrant
Rice! is a story based on the life of Connie Cheng, a Malaysian woman who moved abroad to the UK in search of a better life who relives her life choices and identity as a Malaysian, through one of the humblest of dishes, rice, specifically, congee. Rice! sees actors Amanda Ang (Kuala Lumpur) and Michelle Wen Li (London) playing Connie Cheng at different ages and stages in life, with the intricacies of adapting as a Malaysian in the UK, with the story unfolding with her talking about her being Asian, sometimes being too Asian and at other times not being Asian enough.
We briefly spoke to Amanda Ang who plays the younger version of Connie Cheng to find out how she prepared for the role as well as some of her own personal experiences.
Did you draw from any of your personal experience when preparing for the role?
Yes! The role is basically an amalgamation of Vera- writer, Michelle – UK Connie and my experiences in combining both ideals of East and West whilst trying to find our most comfortable versions of ourselves and how our families and friends took to the ideas we had.
What is your favourite personal memory with food?
All the times I’ve come up with what people might think are unusual combinations of food!! But I think the most successful and simple one so far is definitely when I started dipping my M&S cheese twists in my half boiled eggs. You just gotta try it.
Did you consider relocating abroad at any point in your life?
Yes, there were a few points in my life I wondered if I would be better suited to a different culture elsewhere but in the end I think it’s up to us to find that peace within ourselves.
Which part of Connie Cheng’s character did you most identify with and what was the most challenging part of the role for you?
Her journey in connecting with herself through her childhood foods. That is the thing that will always be home! I think it’s memories being brought to light again and seeing it with fresh eyes when you’re no longer attached to pain. You begin to appreciate it for what it is.
Is there any part of the role that you related to as a woman that may gloss over from a male’s perspective?
Society tends to be more forgiving with how a guy looks and though we all have our own struggles, especially in the 90s, scrutiny laid harsher on women when it came to their choices in what they wore, who their friends were and the career paths they chose.
The Concubine Experience
In Kuala Lumpur, audiences will have the option of selecting to opt for just the Performance or the Concubine Experience, which includes a Food Kit and access to an hour-long pre-show cooking class. The dinner comes in the form of a three-course meal and a cocktail by Concubine, which you can easily assemble through a sensory experience from your very own kitchen. Essentially, the only dish you will have to cook yourself would be the Tea Egg that is simple to prepare. The Food Kit comes with the following: –
- Tea Egg (2 eggs with a herbs and spice packet)
- Confit Duck Congee
- Peanut Cookie Cheesecake
- Concubine Cocktail
When Is The Next Showing?
If you are a fan of the theatre and would like to take part in this interactive dining experience, with a special love for an entertaining evening of storytelling and amazing music to boot, this is definitely for you. Rice! is collaborative project by Wayang Kitchen in Kuala Lumpur with Omnibus Theatre in London, an effort that is supported by the British Council Digital Collaboration Fund, which supports UK and overseas cultural partnerships to develop digitally innovative ways of collaborating.
Time: 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm (Kuala Lumpur), 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm (London)
Dates: 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th February 2021
Duration: 1 hour (+1hr virtual cooking class if you select a Food Kit ticket)
Age Recommendation: 14+ (some strong language and sexual references)
- RM28 Performance only
- RM88 for the Concubine Experience
- RM99 for the Concubine Experience with delivery within the Klang Valley
You can purchase your tickets via Eventbrite. The performance will take place on Zoom where a link will be sent to participants a day prior to the event.
| PHOTOGRAPHY: NICHOLAS NG & WAYANG KITCHEN | WEBSITE: WAYANG KITCHEN |