The Immigrant Experience Comes to Life in ‘Die Play Marry at the DISSIDENT Club

The Immigrant Experience Comes to Life in ‘Die Play Marry at the DISSIDENT Club

“Do you have all the right papers to get into the afterlife? Can you handle heaven’s prefecture officer?”

On March 10th, Lok Kan Cheung, Chung En Wu and Tajeun Ryu, artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea, performed the first showing of ‘Die Play Marry’, a noir comedy at the DISSIDENT club. The play follows the trials and tribulations of two ghosts who are stuck in the immigration department of the afterlife, unable to pass through without the right the papers to prove their status as dead. 

Despite featuring ghosts, the afterlife, and the visual aesthetics of a thriller, the true horror of Die Play Marry stems from the absolute desperation of having to deal with immigration as a single woman of colour. “Our inspiration to create this play was my interest in horror stories. In every horror story, the characters hope things will get better and the horror stems from the fact that at some point the hope dies. I wanted to explore this in the context of a comedy,”  Cheung explained introducing the piece. 

The play dealt with themes of  womanhood, the loss of  homeland, and the frustration of cultural assimilation.

“We created this play weaving together five different languages —English, French, Cantonese, Korean, and Mandarin, which allowed us to combine various east Asian cultures together while maintaining its distinct cultural specificities,” said Ryu, one of the artists. 

This play, a two year project-in-progress, uses a variety of styles and aesthetics from East Asian and Western theatre cultures, creating a fusion of music, visuals and storytelling that kept the audience spellbound. 

Minila, an Indian immigrant to France in the audience strongly resonated with the characters of the play, “The play was so relatable to me and my immigration journey, and it really hit the nail on the head about how as immigrants, we will have to prove ourselves even after death for the validation of Western governments.”

Report by: Leah Koonthamattam , team < the DISSIDENT club >

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