A famous Chinese restaurant in Birmingham is supporting young actors of Chinese heritage to perform in two forthcoming festivals next month. Ming Moon Birmingham, located at 16 Hurst Street in the Chinese Quarter, is supporting a group of young actors for the forthcoming Radio Public Festival and the Black Country Festival, both of which will take place on 9th July.
Dorian Chan, owner of the Ming Moon, believes in championing the local community and helping to make Birmingham a modern diverse city. When COVID-19 struck Birmingham Dorian organised a team of volunteers to deliver PPE to NHS heroes at venues such as the John Taylor Hospice, Hodge Hill Grange Care Home, MacMillan Palliative Care, Northwick Park Hospital and Abbeydale Nursing Home.
“The past 2 years of the pandemic have been tough for all of us but there`s light at the end of the tunnel” Dorian explained. “I live and work in Birmingham. Throughout our city you`ll see Chinese businesses, Chinese professionals and Chinese people helping to make Birmingham the dynamic, diverse and thrilling city it is because Chinese people are part of the fabric of 21st century Birmingham”.
The Ming Moon is supporting work on a new play for China West Midlands that has been turned into a radio play for the forthcoming Radio Public Festival and street theatre production for the Black Country Festival, both of which will be taking place on 9th July. It follows the success of the script development reading performances of the new work earlier this month at the Walsall Festival of Words.
The play, written by Ian Henery, is entitled “Coming to Birmingham: Making Of a Modern City” and is the second in a trilogy of plays for China West Midlands. The first play, “The Chinese Labour Corps”, was set during the First World War. It had a successful week-long run at The Blue Orange Theatre in February and was part of Chinese New Year Festival Online 2022.
“The second play has the time line 1940/50s” explained Ian Henery “and looks at issues of identity, family and sacrifice from British and Chinese socio-economic perspectives. It`s a positive story of integration and offers a firm defence of the principles of equality and diversity. The play shows why open, mixed society is the way forward for 21st century cities and how migrants help modern Britain not only survive but prosper.”
One of the young actors involved is Chi Lam, 17 years of age and working as an extra for the BBC at the moment in between school work and preparing for university. “I`m an extra for the new series on the BBC called “Phoenix Rise” said Chi Lam, whose other acting credits include the film “Dig Me No Grave”. He says he has been raised to understand the importance of hard work and giving back to the community.
“My 17th birthday was spent donating to the Birmingham Central Food Bank” said Chi Lam “at the Birmingham City Church”.
Other young actors include Andy Chan, Julie Ym Phung, Vy-Ng and Leona Leung who are alumni of New Earth Academy at the Birmingham Hippodrome and Laura Liptrot from Chameleon Dreams with direction and production by Phil Liptrot of A Comedy Theatre Group in Stourbridge.
“Since Chinese New Year the reopening of theatres, restaurants, offices and property investment has gone with a bang” said Dorian Chan.
“I am very optimistic about Chinatown`s future. Birmingham is such a vibrant city and has so much going for it with the Commonwealth Games, HS2 and, of course, a very strong Chinatown – the beating heart of the city”.