British | Chinese


I lean more towards the Asian side.  I think of myself as Asian you know, I don’t think of myself as a Caucasian British person at all. And like I say, that’s very odd when I’m in Singapore and people call me that. I find that really peculiar. It’s just not what I identify with. We all belong in London I think. That’s where we all come and we all wash up as it were. Any kind of big city like that. You know, it’s such a diverse mix. That’s where I feel most at home. I suppose the most I felt at home in a way was.. I spent a couple of weeks in LA, years ago and I was hanging out with the Asian American acting community there. They are not very tribal you know. Because they are all third, fourth generation, they grew up speaking English. I was having dim sum with  a Hawaiian guy, a Japanese girl. There was a Chinese person, a Korean. But all Americans I felt that kind of kindred really. In our East Asian theatre community you definitely feel that. There’s a mixture of East Asian heritages and I feel like we feel an affinity with each other.

Someone asked me the other day have you got an artistic goal. I said it's the humanisation of East Asian people I would say. We are quite de-humanised and quite erased and quite invisible a lot of the time by our own rulers. The other day for example was the Tiananmen Square anniversary and that's completely been scrubbed off the People's Republic of China’s history books. Completely airbrushed which is shocking really. I think it is real shame. It's terrible. That’s why I kind of think it is my purpose to highlight these issues. I remember being in a taxi with my wife in Beijing and the taxi driver asked my wife, “where is your husband from”. She said, “he is half Chinese”. The driver went off on a whole riff on this. He said that I was the true descendant of the dragon. He said that the Chinese are just born here, live here but your husband has gone overseas, he’s gone to the west, he’s a real dragon. I just thought it was an exciting moment. An amazing insight, a real buzz. We’re the future apparently. I like it. It gives you an appreciation of different points of view.