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Thanks to:
Jasper Sharp
Michelle Thomas
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Steve McIntosh One St Ives
Culture Wise radio production
The Anna May Wong Society


Further reading:
Graham Gao Hodges
Anthony B Chan

 

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Anna May Wong Must Die! News page

News and information about Anna Chen's latest one-woman show, a funny and moving look at Hollywood's first Chinese movie star.

 

SUNDAY 2ND MAY 2010 DATE

ANNA MAY WONG MUST DIE! Work continues apace. Anna will be reading the new opening for her show at the St Ives Literature Festival, St Ives Arts Club, 6.30pm, Sunday 2nd May 2010.

 

NEW VIDEOS. Sunday 13th September 2009. Anna performs two acoustic raps from Anna May Wong Must Die! at the St Ives Arts Festival lunchtime sessions in Norway Square. With Charles Shaar Murray on slide guitar and Buffalo Bill Smith on harmonica.

The first public outing for Yellowface

Anna May Wong Must Die! rap

 

SUNDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2009
Anna performs Anna May Wong Must Die! at the St Ives Arts Cub, Westcotts Quay, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26, 7pm
Venue: St Ives Arts Club, Westcotts Quay
Time: 7pm
Tickets: £6 from the Guildhall festival box-office Info: 01736 797122 steve.mcintosh@onestives.co.uk

 

SATURDAY 25TH JULY 2009

Finally designed my poster for the show. More a flyer at the mo. Hmm, wonder if it would make a nice T-shirt ...

 

ABOUT THE SHOW

Anna May Wong Must Die! is Anna Chen's one-woman show about Hollywood's first Chinese movie star. This personal journey through the life and crimes of Anna May Wong grew from a half-hour programme about the actress, A Celestial Star In Piccadilly, broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2009, which Anna wrote and presented.

"I'd discovered her at an early age when, growing up in the East London borough of Hackney, I was the only Chinese kid in my school. I often wondered where everyone else was who looked like me.

"In the streets, men of a certain vintage would yell, 'Oy, you! Anna May Wong!' I thought, 'Blimey! How do they know my name's Anna?' And then I saw her. She was in an old black and white film on the telly. The tall Chinese screen goddess in Shanghai Express, blowing the blonde Teutonic Marlene Dietrich off the screen and blasting her way into my respect

"Up 'til then, my only role models had been Madam Mao and Imelda Marcos. I didn't know whether to start a revolution or steal a handbag. Now I could add stabbing villains to my options."

Part comedy, part social critique, this funny, fascinating look at the movie icon dismantles Chinese stereotypes and reveals the human side of the dragon lady of dragon ladies.

 

ABOUT ANNA MAY WONG

Glamour, sex, beauty, fame – Hollywood legend Anna May Wong had it all. She was the most famous Chinese woman in the world during the 1920s and 30s, and yet she struggled to get decent parts while white actors played the juiciest Chinese roles in “yellowface”.

Born in Los Angeles in 1905, during the height of the Yellow Peril fears about the Chinese, she overcame prejudice and racism enshrined in US law to become Hollywood’s first Chinese screen legend, making more than 60 movies.

Artists painted and sculpted her, photographers immortalised her, composers and songwriters were inspired by her, philosophers wrote of her. And yet she all but disappeared for nearly half a century since her death in 1961 at the early age of 56.

She's now recognised as the mitochondrial Eve of the Chinese diaspora and is influencing a whole new generation. Who was she? And why do we need her now?

More about Anna May Wong > > >

 

PRESS FOR ANNA CHEN

"Charming, witty and sophisticated ... I am entranced, won over."
The Sunday Times

"Hard hitting and often hilarious ... arresting ... engrossing and provoking."
The Scotsman

"... sensitive, intelligent ... insistent and illuminating."
The Herald

"It's the stuff of brilliant satire ... riveting."
The List