Yellow Gentlemen first performance details
Tommy Lee is dying. Clinging on to his life, he waits for his daughter to come. He has something to say. Two men stand between him and death. They need to know his secrets before he dies. They will stop at nothing. What he knows could change their lives.
One of the first plays on the British scene to singularly address the East Asian immigrant culture, Yellow Gentlemen is the third work by Benjamin Yeoh to be premiered in London. In an unusual time warp, it tells the story of Tommy Lee, from his migration to Britain in the 1950s to the present, where he lies dying. It tackles the ideas of race and class on a deeply personal level, as one man seeks to come to terms with his death and fate. What if life could be undone?
Yellow Gentlemen was first performed at the Oval House Theatre, London, 14 February 2006. (Archive details here)
The play received 4 stars from Time Out. Review Excerpt: "
…Two men, one young, one middle-aged, watch over the sickbed of old Tommy Lee in a down-at-heel hospice room. The three of them bicker and jostle for position. There is talk of a stack of money hidden in the cupboard.
[Then] Yeoh's ingenious twist makes itself known….
…Yeoh's account of the immigrant experience of Tommy Lee's journey from Malaysia and his acceptance into the social whirl of the 1960s is cleverly played off against the generational conflict. … David KS Tse, Nicholas Goh and Jonanthan Chan-Pensley (in descending order of age) give decent performances in Bronwyn Lim's production… the vertiginous sense of possibility and regret present in Yeoh's intelligent script.
The 2006 performance had the cast
Tommy Lee, old David Tse Ka-shing
Tommy Lee, middle Jonathan Chan-Pensley
Tommy Lee, young Nicholas Goh
and the company
Director Bronwyn Lim
Assistant Director & Stage Manager Sarah Johnson
Designer Mamoru Iriguchi
Assistant Designer Emma Mansfield
Lighting Designer Ben Pacey
Sound Designer Roger Douek
Head of Marketing Francesca Nider
Producer Ragnhild A. Mørch