Bakehouse Theatre
Until 20 Feb 2016

Review by Jamie Wright

It’s 2017. Meet Jenny Wong, a 33-year-old woman from Hong Kong who works in sales and has a lucrative side business running haunted house tours through the uninhabited units in her apartment block. But for her, Hong Kong has changed so much since the handover to China almost twenty years ago, and, after spotting a pop-up advertisement on the internet for the chance to move to the United Nation of Hap Asala via the immigration lottery, she applies – and now she has to sit the interview.

Writer/director/performer Cathy SK Lam (with Angel SY Chan and Mimi Lo) has put together one of the funniest, quirkiest and genuinely touching productions this Fringe; it's one part theatre, one part comedy, one part performance art – with an undertone of serious political commentary. Through Jenny’s interview it tells of a people unsure of their place in the world, faced with the dilemma of whether or not to leave their home and risk an uncertain future.

Lam is hilarious and wholly likeable on stage, and it’s nigh on impossible to not get drawn into Jenny’s wacky life, and with it the complexities of existence in modern China – the scene where she produces in quick succession a Christian cross, an octagonal Feng Shui mirror and finally an iconic red-starred Chinese army cap (leading to what I can only assume was the singing of a patriotic anthem) being a great illustration of that – and the serious concerns about the unfair treatment of Hong Kong residents by the mainland government.

A meaningful message wrapped in a delightful, enigmatic shell.

Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)