The inaugural play at China Exchange on 9 June 2016, I’m Just Here to Buy Soy Sauce, played to an almost full house.
The piece, written by fresh talent, Jingan Young, focuses on two story lines – a pair of ruthless real estate agents seeking to woo a Chinese buyer for their latest land development and a young couple struggling with a failed property search that marked the end of their relationship. The punchy piece of theatre provided the starting point for a panel discussion following the performance that explored the themes of the play.
The play received support from our Cultivate@China Exchange, raising creative ideas that seek to explore our relationship with China.
The panel explored how London’s property market has responded to overseas investment; the parallels between London and Beijing’s housing market – with the Chinese capital pricing most people out of the rental market as well as the ownership market; “property racism” and the assumptions that are made about property developers based on their ethnicity; the mechanisms available to the government in adjusting the housing market; the impact of the UK’s greenbelt policy on housing supply; and the potential for hypocrisy when advocating a free market and global trade but not welcoming the effects of an open market and global trade.
Writer Jingan Young Director Freyja Winterson Cast Alexander Wilson Joyce Veheary
Lighting Design / Stage Management Archie Macleod
Guest speakers of panel discussion Home Vs Property: Jingan Young, writer of I’m Just Here To Buy Soy Sauce; Mike Wilkins, Chief Executive, DuCane Houseing Association; Sally Wang, author, Buy Smart: What you need to know when investing in UK properties, founder of SJW UK Property Investment Ltd and SJW house of books; Moderator: Freya Aitken-Turff, CEO, China Exchange.
REVIEWS: “An intriguing play… slightly outrageous…an absorbing piece of theatre with a strong script”.- ☆☆☆☆ LondonTheatre1 “I’m Just Here To Buy Soy Sauce is rich in gags…fluid writing is a pleasure to listen to and demonstrates that playwright Jingan Young has cherry-picked her words with a natural comic verve. It makes this show well worth catching next time it comes to town…This is a well-written and tragicomic representation of London’s property market and its exploitation by foreign investors”. -☆☆☆ Everything Theatre “Powerful…a controversial take on the Londoners who actively seek out the immediately identifiable evil in this particular plot…Freyja Winterson’s direction encourages contrast between the protagonists as they jostle for position, the resulting power dynamic slowly shifting over from teacher to student. Yet despite their seemingly sinister motives, Young convinces the audience to empathise with these characters.”– Daniel Perks, Exeunt Magazine
18 & 19 May Illuminate Festival New Wimbledon Studio
6 June Old Red Lion Theatre
9 June China Exchange, Chinatown. Followed by a post-show Q&A and reception.