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.
BEATS Community Screening of Lulu Wang’s THE FAREWELL
Straight from its US box office success, BEATS Cinema is thrilled to present a special screening of Lulu Wang’s critically acclaimed film, TheFarewell.
Based on Wang’s incredible story of her own grandmother – Nai Nai – we invite you to celebrate the Nai Nai in your life. Our community can take advantage of a special 2-4-1 ticket offer if you bring along your *grandparent* to this screening.
*By grandparent we mean anyone over 60 years old! So bring a grandpa, a grandma, an elderly neighbour, uncle or auntie! We do ask, whoever you bring please make sure they bring their Freedom pass or similar!*
Tickets are extremely limited and discounted! This screening is guaranteed to sell out.
Those that follow the work of BEATS will recognise this screening is a tribute to #RealAsianGranny. To learn more about BEATS visit our site and subscribe to find out first about our latest events and advocacy.
BEATS are piloting an East Asian cinema program with the support of BFI and Cinema for All. As part of this pilot we screened Columbus with the Curzon Bloomsbury on 13 July and this month we will be hosting a screening of the superlative Tampopo, a film bu Juzo Itami.
The tale of an enigmatic band of ramen ronin who guide the widow of a noodle shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe, Tampopo serves up a savoury broth of culinary adventure seasoned with offbeat comedy sketches and the erotic exploits of a gastronome gangster. Sweet, sexy, surreal, and mouthwatering, Tampopo is considered one of the greatest films about food.
On 31 July 2019, Hampstead Theatre announced a staging of The King of Hell’s Palace, written by Frances Ya-Chi Cowhig and directed by Michael Boyd. In response to their production, we drafted the following open letter.
Hampstead Theatre responded with a statement on 5 August which you can read here, which contained inaccuracies which we have addressed in our latest statement which you can read here. Hampstead Theatre refuse to meet with BEATS.
Our statements are in support of the recently published statement from Equity’s Minority Ethnic Members Committee.
Columbus, is a beguiling and intelligent film about emotions and architecture played out between graduate Casey, in an outstanding performance by Haley Lu Richardson and Jin, a pitch-perfect John Cho who has never been more delectable.
Columbus is the feature debut of Asian American film critic and filmmaker Kogonada. Set in Columbus, Indiana an epicentre of modernist architecture, Kogonada uses buildings not only as backdrops but thematic motifs to negotiate tensions between family and loyalty.
Many people missed this gem first time round and we hope our screening gives people a second chance to catch this beautiful art house piece. Our screening is at the Curzon Bloomsbury, situated in the Brunswick Centre, one of London’s enduring sites of Brutalist architecture.
In partnership with ACPU, BEATS are hosted networking drinks in combination with the evening performance of the Royal Court black comedy, White Pearl by written by Anchuli Felicia King and directed by Nana Dakin.
★ ★ ★ ★
“White Pearl is a little gem… a bracingly funny corporate satire.”
The Guardian | Michael Billington
Starring a formidable East Asian cast including Katie Leung, Kae Alexander, Farzana Dua Elahe, Kanako Nakano, Minhee Yeo and Momo Yeung. Plus a striking set designed by Moi Tran and sound design by Nicola Chang.
To top it off, our special night was discounted – you can access 22% off Band B tickets by using promo code BEATS. (Tickets originally £32, now £25).
BEATS are hosting a competition to give 3 lucky winners a chance to attend a special screening on 1 March and experience the incredible story of Fumi and Kazu, partners in love and law, who are driven by their own experience of being outsiders. The film, directed by British East Asian filmmaker Hikaru Toda poses universal questions about what it takes to be an individual, what it means to be a minority and what role family plays in our increasingly polarised world.
What: Opening Night + Q&A with director Hikaru Toda
Where: Rio Cinema | 1st March | 18:30
Competition: Use your imagination and send a Tweet to @BeatsOrg with an image, clip or gif on the theme of Proud to be Different and remember to use the hashtags #OfLoveAndLaw and #ProudToBeDifferent
Prizes: Our favourite 3 tweets will win the following:
1st prize: 2 free tickets to the screening plus a goodie bundle (including signed booklet, sticker, postcard, fold out booklet and poster of the film).
2nd Prize: 2 free tickets to the screening plus a poster of the film.
3rd prize: 2 free tickets to the screening.
Closing date of the competition is Tuesday 26th February and winners will be notified shortly afterwards.
On the 14 February 2019, following our letter to CBBC and Twenty Twenty we have issued this statement and the Writers Guild released their statement supporting our concerns.
We eventually met with the BBC. What follows is a summary of important points from the meeting and our feedback following the statement from CBBC (which can be read at the end of our statement). BEATS will continue to make our work transparent and to hold to account the commitments made by CBBC.
BEATS hosted a special performance of Citizens of Nowhere? – a funny and moving real-time live audio drama written by award winning writer, Ming Ho. This live performance lets the audience eavesdrop on a British Chinese family’s conversation about identity and relationships. Our B E A T S event included a post-show meet with the cast and creative team included award winning writer Ming Ho.