Reaching out to the Vietnamese community in Deptford, Trikhon Theatre brings its fully-realised version of A Dream from a Bombshell to Deptford Lounge from Thursday 9 to Friday 17 October. Ahead of its run, Creative Producer Mingyu Lin and Assistant Director Yuki Koe let us know about how they prepared for this immersive theatre show and what it’s all about.
Working on A Dream from a Bombshell with Trikhon Theatre has been an immensely educational experience for me, not least because I’ve learnt so much about the history relevant to the large Vietnamese community in Deptford. The central theme of the play is about the journey of a Vietnamese refugee from Vietnam to England in the 1970s; a lot of people today tend to know about the Vietnam War only from what they’ve learnt from Hollywood movies or West End musicals, to them, the bloodshed and human impact of the war seems so close but yet far away. But the reality for many of us in the UK, especially in Deptford, is that we’re living right next to those who had experienced the war and the pain of fleeing their homeland first-hand.
I believe I speak for the whole cast and crew when I say this experience has opened my eyes to the Vietnamese refugee experience, as the story is drawn from real-life accounts and testimonies of refugee experiences taken from an extensive oral history project (Anchored in London). Our team is made up of people from various diverse cultural backgrounds but through Trikhon’s company policy of devising the play together and working cohesively, each member drawing strongly from their own cultural identity to contribute to the play, all of us have been strongly encouraged to learn about Vietnam and her traditions in a very personal way.
This is the experience we’re hoping to pass on to audiences by staging the play as an immersive experience and letting the audience travel through the paddy fields of Vietnam and join us on a boat to England. The Vietnamese refugees make up a vital part of the vibrant multicultural community of Deptford and by staging this play and inviting you to it, we’re not trying to put just one country or one people on a pedestal, but we’re hoping to showcase just one facet of our neighbourhood and open up a dialogue amongst us all. We’re also hoping to appreciate those first-generation Vietnamese immigrants who risked death and torture to make a better life for their children.
At the end of the day, this story is beyond the bloodshed of the Vietnamese War and isn’t about facts or history, instead it’s about the human story and its implications for us in Deptford and the UK today. It’s also a celebration of new life and new hope.
To end off, we’d like to thank Deptford Lounge for being an incredibly hospitable venue for our production. We see the Lounge as a community and cultural hub to the local area, that draws together various cultures and ages and reconnects them. It is what we hope to achieve amongst our audience as well.
If you’d like to speak with us more about our process of creating this show, do come for the show on Thursday 16 October, after which there will be a post-show talk and discussion session.
Assistant Director Yuki Koe & Creative Producer Mingyu Lin, Trikhon Theatre
A Dream from a Bombshell is at Deptford Lounge on Thursday 9 – Friday 17 October with a public dress rehearsal on Tuesday 7 October at 7pm. For more information and to book, click here.