Earlier this year [31st July 2019] BEATS raised concerns about Hampstead Theatre’s decision to fly in an East Asian actor from America to play a lead role in The King of Hell’s Palace set in China, written by the Asian American writer Frances Yu Chu Cowhig
At the same time, we also expressed concerns that the very same director of King of Hell’s Palace, former RSC artistic director Michael Boyd, was planning to fly in another actor from America for his production of another Asian American play, Wild Goose Dreams, set in South Korea, written by Hansol Jung, at Theatre Royal Bath.
It now transpires that these concerns were not without grounds, as the production has indeed opted to fly in not one, but two, East Asian actors from America for this production. It is Boyd’s second East Asian themed play in a matter of months – more than any British East Asian director has ever managed in the entirety of their careers in major theatre spaces, making Michael Boyd de facto British East Asian theatre gatekeeper.
You can read our full statement here.