A Practical Guide to Self Defence - Riverside Theatres

A Practical Guide to Self Defence - Riverside Theatres

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Posted 2022-10-24 by Janellefollow

Thu 20 Oct 2022 - Sat 29 Oct 2022



The world premiere of A Practical Guide to Self Defence by Hung-Yen Yang (Yen) at Parramatta's Riverside Theatre was an outstanding success for the Merrigong Theatre / National Theatre of Parramatta co production. The 75-minute long show is fast-paced and entertaining although full of confronting issues and situations. It must be noted that the production contains simulated violence, adult themes, coarse language, racial stereotypes and slurs and is recommended for ages over 14. It will also be playing at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre from the 9th to 12th November.



Yen tells the story of the relentless racism and bullying he faced growing up as a Chinese-Australian in Wollongong and Sydney in the 70s and 80s. Whilst awaiting the birth of his first child, "Old Yen" played by Edric Hong reflects on the brashness of his youth "Young Yen" (Alan Zhu) and his transformation from asthmatic nerdy pacifist to violent street fighter back to his current role as the bespectacled IT specialist father-to-be.



A Practical Guide to Self Defence instructs and informs using wit, self-deprecating humour, animation and the obligatory 1980s PowerPoint presentation. Various forms of self defence are described and demonstrated and Sun Tzu's Art of War is referenced. The acting is superb, the set simple but effective and the simulated fight scenes are too real at times. I particularly enjoyed the caricatures of Yen's mother and grandmother and Alan Zhu's channelling of David Attenborough describing the "taxonomy of a bully".



Yen's story is poignant and unfortunately as relevant today as in the past. Bullying and racism are an intrinsic part of society and most of us struggle with "the beast within" from time to time.



A Practical Guide to Self Defence packs a powerful punch that will stay with you long after watching!

#disabled_access
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!date 20/10/2022 -- 29/10/2022
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179123 - 2023-06-15 21:40:30

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